Algeria president warns over oil price fall

Algeria president warns over oil price fall

Reuters, Mon 13 Oct 2008, 9:56 GMT

ALGIERS (Reuters) – Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said in a newspaper report on Monday the country, which is heavily dependent on energy income, needed to brace for a possible oil price collapse.

Algerian government officials see no immediate threat to the country’s ambitious plan to sustain growth this year, but they are concerned about the impact of a possible fall in oil prices beyond 2008.

« I’m not coming to warn you at a time when we are perhaps in a comfortable situation, but any collapse of the oil prices would push us into a great problem and each one of us is called upon to roll up his sleeves, » Algeria’s main Arabic-language daily Al Khabar quoted Bouteflika as saying.

Oil and gas, which account for more than 95 percent of Algeria’s total exports, are the OPEC member’s economic lifeline.

Algeria’s Energy and Mining Minister Chakib Khelil, who is also the current OPEC president, was quoted on Saturday by state media as saying the country’s oil earnings would remain at comfortable levels even if oil prices stayed relatively low.