HYUNDAI HEAVY INDUSTRIES WINS OIL BID

HYUNDAI HEAVY INDUSTRIES WINS OIL BID

South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. won its first overseas oil exploration bid at the beginning of this month, but whether this exploration activity will contribute to Hyundai's oil refining business is unclear, a company official said Monday.

''We are thinking about cooperating with Hyundai Oil Co., but no concrete plan has been made yet," the official in charge of overseas oil exploration said.The official said neither company has had enough time to work out the details of any possible cooperation.

Hyundai Heavy Industries began planning for overseas oil exploration early this year before Hyundai Business Group took over Kukdong Oil, now known as Hyundai Oil Co., in June.

On Oct. 1, the Venezuelan government awarded Hyundai Heavy Industries the right to explore for oil in the Caribbean Sea in partnership with Olympic Oil Gas Co. of the United States, he said.

This was the first time Hyundai Heavy Industries won the right to explore for oil overseas, he said. The exploration, estimated to cost $200 million, will begin sometime next year after Hyundai gets approval from the South Korean government, he said.

Hyundai will have a 75 percent stake in the exploration and Olympic Oil Gas a 25 percent stake, he said.

The undeveloped oil field is believed to hold about 200 billion barrels, he said.

Hyundai also bid at the end of March for four oil fields off the coast of India in a consortium with India's state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Commission, an Indian company and an unnamed international oil company, but a decision has not been announced, he said.