The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may meet to assess the impact of the nuclear crisis in Japan and the ongoing unrest in the Middle East and North Africa on oil supply, said Nigeria’s foreign minister.
“It [Japan] is likely to affect the oil market and therefore the prices,” Henry Odein Ajumogobia told reporters after a meeting with Indian officials in Delhi. “I do suspect members of OPEC would be getting together to assess the situation of demand and supply.”
Crude futures dropped earlier this week due to fears of an increase in radiation levels in Japan, which is working to control a nuclear crisis after being hit by an earthquake and a tsunami.
Japan, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, is likely to require an increase in fuel oil imports to generate electricity in the long-term as a quarter of its nuclear power plants have been taken offline.
Responding to a question on the political crisis in North Africa, Ajumogobia said OPEC will take into account the impact of the trouble while reviewing any increase in oil supplies.
“If OPEC ceilings are increased then our production will increase by the same token,” Nigeria’s Ajumogobia said.
Tensions escalated in the Middle East as Bahrain declared a state of emergency a day after Arab Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, rushed troops to the island in an attempt to stifle a growing anti-government uprising.
“We are working hard to expand our capacity, and it is important to have excess capacity for any sort of eventuality,” Ajumogobia said.