April 1, 2011 / 9:34 PM / 8 years ago

Mexico says OPEC, inventories can cover Libya oil

Energy Secretary Jose Antonio Meade talks to Reuters during the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit in Mexico City April 1, 2011. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican Energy Minister Jose Meade said on Friday oil shortages caused by the Libyan crisis, which have helped push crude to a 2-1/2 year peak, could be covered by production in other OPEC nations and existing inventories.

If conflict does not spread to other Middle Eastern nations, oil prices should fall back to levels seen before fighting erupted in major oil producer Libya, Meade told the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit.

Current high prices will benefit Mexico as the world’s No. 7 oil producer but a strengthening peso will limit gains for the country’s state-run oil company Pemex, he said.

Meade also said Mexico, one of only three countries in Latin America that currently generate nuclear power, will not shy away from expanding the sector in the future, despite the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan following a devastating earthquake. (Reporting by Mica Rosenberg and Adriana Barrera; Editing by David Gregorio)

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