Seoul: Global crude oil prices that have fallen to $50 per barrel levels in recent weeks could reach an average of $100 from 2008-2015, the government said today, citing a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The Ministry for Knowledge Economy said that while the slowdown in the world economy triggered by the liquidity crunch could sap demand and cause prices to fall in the foreseeable future, a rise in production costs may put pressure on prices down the road.
The World Energy Outlook report claimed that average crude prices may reach $120 per barrel from 2015-2030 as more inaccessible oil fields have to be developed to offset dwindling production reserves.
The ministry in charge of energy then cited a prediction by IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka, who said that during the next one to two years, crude prices may experience sharp fluctuations such as those seen in 2008.
The price of Dubai crude, which makes up the bulk of South Korean imports, reached $140 per barrel in July from an average of around $70 for 2007.
Government officials said that the IEA called for the development of non-conventional resources that meet demand and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.