Opec member Algeria may lose $20bn of its oil revenues in a year if crude prices continue to drop, the country’s Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi told state radio late Wednesday, a day after backing an emergency meeting of the oil exporters’ group in the event of renewed declines in prices. “Oil prices have dropped $30 a barrel from the level they’ve reached a few months ago and this is a big drop,” Yousfi said. “In a year this will represent a loss of about $18bn to $20bn in our oil revenues and this is a worrying matter,” he said. The country’s central bank has recently said that Algeria needs an oil price of $112 a barrel to balance its budget, compared with $100 per barrel in 2011 estimated by the International Monetary Fund. Yousfi said on Tuesday that Algeria would support an emergency meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries if prices continue to decline further, backing an earlier call from fellow group member Iran. He has previously said that Opec may meet to discuss falling oil prices, which are impacted by oversupply, but he did not clarify the level at which Opec would call for an emergency meeting. Last month, Opec agreed to maintain its combined production ceiling for its 12 members at 30mn bpd, but several members signalled that the group could meet again soon if oil prices retreat much more. Iran’s oil minister Rostam Ghasemi has recently called for an emergency Opec meeting to cut output after oil prices fell below $100 a barrel, adding that other Opec members are backing his call. from gulf times.