Top managers of South Korean companies predict high international oil prices to last for the time being due to the standoff between Western countries and Iran, a poll showed Sunday.
According to the survey of 216 local chief executive officers by Samsung Economic Research Institute, 44.4 percent of the respondents expected international crude prices to average $100 to $120 per barrel this year.
Another 40.3 percent forecast a price range of $120-$140, with only 4.2 percent projecting the average crude price to hover below $100, the survey said.
On Friday, benchmark Brent oil settled at $125.81 a barrel in London trading, up $3.21 form the previous day. It was the market’s biggest one-day gain since March 1.
According to the findings, 42.4 percent of those surveyed cited the international conflict over Iran’s nuclear program as the major reason for the oil price rise.
To tackle high oil prices, 63.4 percent of the respondents urged the government to increase its spending on the development of renewable energy and energy-saving technologies.
Slightly over 25 percent said the government needs to boost its support for local companies’ efforts to explore overseas oil and gas, according to the survey.
Soaring oil prices have been a constant bugbear to South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest crude buyer that depends entirely on imports for its oil needs.