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14

South Korea Going Beyond Driving Rules

The South Korean government is moving to require...

The South Korean government is moving to require drivers of passenger cars to leave their vehicles home once every 10 days if crude oil prices continue to rise in April.

A Ministry of Finance and Economy official said the contingency action will be dependent on the result of OPEC's general meeting on March 30. If OPEC decides to hike oil prices again, the government has no choice but to seek ways of saving energy, he said. Companies may be required to refrain from lighting billboards or the outsides of buildings after certain hours and adjust elevators so they don't stop at lower floors, he added.

Korea has stockpiles of emergency oil reserves for 105-106 days to cushion the effect of the external price fluctuations on the domestic market. The oil reserves will be hiked by four to five days, he said. The price of Dubai crude oil changed hands at over US$30 while West Texas Intermediate crude oil stood at slightly above $38 per barrel in New York trading the previous day.