The price of regular unleaded gasoline topped 1,800 won ($1.5) per liter in all metropolitan cities and provinces nationwide as of Tuesday, the state-run Korea National Oil Corp. said Wednesday.
It is the first time that such a phenomenon has been seen since August 2008.
The average gasoline price per liter in North Jeolla province remained under 1,800 won until Tuesday when it marked 1800.64 won, up 0.85 won from the day before.
The average price of gasoline per liter Tuesday was the highest in Seoul with 1,884 won, followed by those of Jeju Island, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province which each marked 1,854 won, 1,834 won and 1,825 won, respectively.
The national average gasoline price per liter marked 1,822.67 won on the same day, up 0.32 won compared to the day before. The figure has been rising every day since August 2010.
The price of diesel per liter also went up to over 1,600 won around the nation Tuesday, except for North Jeolla Province whose figure stood at 1,596.80 won.
Oil prices in Korea have been surging for the past two months, mainly because of the high crude oil prices. The benchmark Dubai Crude Oil topped $90 per barrel last week.
The Korea Energy Economics Institute recently speculated that crude oil price per barrel this year will likely go up by $5-6, as the global economic recovery and consequent rise in oil demand is expected to continue.
The International Energy Agency also lifted their demand forecast for this year earlier, saying that high consumption is expected in the U.S. and Europe whose economies will keep recovering to pre-crisis levels.
By Koh Young-aah (firstname.lastname@example.org)