Oil prices prompt crisis response
Korea plans to reveal a set of comprehensive measures including compulsory driving restrictions this week to cope with higher oil prices, officials said yesterday.
The price of the benchmark Dubai crude exceeded $135 per barrel on Friday, compared to $52 per barrel average in January 2007. Korea is the world’s fourth-largest oil importer.
According to the contingency plan being considered, the government will put limits on air conditioning and lighting at public facilities should the prices of Dubai crude reach $150 per barrel.
Under the plan, public servants will be required not to commute by car at least once every week, a stiffer restriction from current once every 10 days. The government will prod the private sector to follow this lead.
Should the Dubai crude price top $170 per barrel, compulsory measures such as strict driving restrictions will be applied to the private sector, and taxes on oil products will be cut.