Fuel Prices Expected to Jump: Loss of Nuclear Capacity in Japan Seen Boosting Demand for Oil, Natural Gas, Simon Hall, Mari Iwata, and Sarah Kent, Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2011.
Japan will have to import more oil, fuel and natural gas for electricity generation to make up for the shortfall caused by the shutdown of nuclear power plants after the earthquake. This will put upward pressure on global prices in markets already concerned about the availability of energy supplies amid widespread unrest in the Middle East.
The 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday sent the cost of natural gas and other fuels that can be used for power generation soaring, as reports of widespread shutdowns to the country's nuclear facilities poured in. Japan is the world's largest importer of liquefied natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.