Iran, Nigeria Woes Raise Concern over Oil Supply
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Time now for business news. Oil prices went up today in International trading. Investors are worried that oil supplies will be disrupted, given the slow moving showdown between Iran and the West over Iran's nuclear program and rebel violence in Nigeria. Nigeria and Iran are among the world's largest oil-producers. Joining us to talk about the situation is Nick Fielding, a journalist and author in London. Good morning.
Mr. NICK FIELDING (Author and Journalist, London): Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: The price spike occurred as European powers, the United States, and China, are considering referring Iran to the United Nations Security Council over its nuclear program.
Mr. FIELDING: Well, I think the main issue here is that oil traders, and they are a particularly fickle lot, it's a huge market, they are, more than anything, concerned about disruption to their market. And obviously Iran is an extremely sensitive part of the world. You've got Iraq on its border, you've got the Gulf, the biggest oil fields in the world, and any possible disruption to the flow of oil out of that region is a cause for concern and a cause for instability in the oil market.
MONTAGNE: And how bad is the situation in Nigeria?
Mr. FIELDING: I think, in some ways, the situation in Nigeria is slightly more serious. There you have a problem with armed rebels taking people hostage, in recent days a number of sabotage attacks on pipelines and, in fact, Nigeria's output has fallen quite drastically over the last week or so. And, the oil companies are a little bit concerned, so, in a sense, that's possibly having more of an impact on the markets than any actual problems in Iran.
I don't think we, one should bank on growing oil price instability. I think these events happen from time to time, and generally the market takes account of them. We've seen a spike overnight in recent days, but I've got a feeling that that will not be a very substantial. Both the situation in Iran and the situation in Nigeria are amenable to resolution. I think that's the way that the markets will appreciate it in the longer term.
MONTAGNE: Thank you very much. Nick Fielding is a journalist and author speaking from London.