Refiners Go All-out to Escape Prolonged Slump | Be Korea-savvy

Refiners Go All-out to Escape Prolonged Slump

GS Caltex's hydrogen-fueling station. (image: GS Caltex)

GS Caltex’s hydrogen-fueling station. (image: GS Caltex)

SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Korea Bizwire)South Korean major oil refiners are moving heaven and earth to get out of a prolonged slump by shifting their focus to new ventures.

SK energy Co., a wholly owned unit of the country’s leading refiner SK Innovation Co., recently revised its articles of incorporation and added ‘telecommunication sales (intermediary)·e-commerce-related business’ to its business objectives, laying the foundation for entry into the platform business.

In June, the company formed a partnership with a group of car washing and parking service providers to launch an integrated car management platform service called Muffin.

GS Caltex Corp., South Korea’s second-largest refiner by sales, is also striving to transform its gas stations into lifestyle spaces that provide customers with rest and convenience.

It recently joined hands with Lotte Rental to launch a charging service for electric rental cars.

After restructuring its workforce early this year, another major oil refiner S-Oil Corp. is now looking for investment in tech startups as a way to secure promising future technologies as well as to explore new business opportunities.

The firm is expanding investment in the petrochemical industry as part of efforts to transform itself into an integrated energy and chemical business, as well as to reduce its reliance on oil-refining.

Hyundai Oilbank Co. made such a shift earlier than others. Unlike other oil refiners that suffered operating losses in the second and third quarter of this year, it posted operating profits for two consecutive quarters.

M. H. Lee (

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