National Pension Service, Seoul, said it's in talks to buy into a U.S. oil pipeline to diversify its portfolio.
Published reports in Korea said that the 295 trillion won ($250 billion) pension fund was picked as a preferred bidder to buy 23.44% of Colonial Pipeline from Chevron for about $847 million.
National Pension denied the company was picked as the preferred bidder, according to an e-mailed statement Monday. Spokesman Kim Ha Young declined to give details about the talks. Gareth Johnstone, a spokesman for Chevron in Singapore, declined to comment.
South Korea has said pension and sovereign wealth funds may invest in overseas energy assets as Asia's fourth-largest crude importer competes for natural resources with China and India. Korea Investment Corp., a $29.6 billion sovereign wealth fund, said in June it will invest $200 million in Chesapeake Energy Corp., the third-largest U.S. natural-gas producer.
Chevron Midstream Investments has a 23.44% stake in Colonial, which transports fuels from refineries in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to marketing terminals, according to Colonial's website.
National Pension is investing in overseas stocks and real estate to diversify from domestic fixed-income holdings. The fund plans to boost its overseas investments to at least 20% of assets by 2015, from about 11% now.