South Korea's consumption of petroleum products exceeded 900 million barrels last year to reach a new record, according to the Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) on Sunday, apparently helped by low global oil prices.
Local consumption of petroleum products reached 922.12 million barrels last year, up 7.7 percent from the year before. It marked two consecutive years of increase.
Industrial usage accounted for the most with 543.41 million barrels, a jump of 8.5 percent. The transportation sector followed with 287.14 million barrels, up 4.8 percent.
"Factory operation rate rose from the pickup in the petrochemical industry, and new plants were put into operation as well, increasing the consumption of crude oil," KNOC said.
Oil prices have stayed low for the year, with benchmark Brent and West Texas Intermediate averaging between US$30 and $33 a month.
Consumption at home and commercial facilities grew 5 percent to 46.07 million barrels.
In types, consumption of gasoline and diesel rose respectively 3.3 percent and 6.9 percent from a year ago, as more vehicles were purchased while prices at gas stations fell.
Consumption of liquefied petroleum gas jumped 21.9 percent to 194.7 million barrels as propane dehydrogenation facilities increased. (Yonhap)