BANGKOK (AP) — Oil prices sank Monday as a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers made it more likely that the sanctions choking Iranian oil exports will eventually be lifted.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down $2.53 at $108.52 a barrel at midafternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the ICE futures exchange in London. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.54 to $93.30 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
After marathon negotiations in Geneva, Iran on Sunday reached an agreement with the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany to limit enrichment of uranium to 5 percent, far below the level needed for nuclear weapons.
Iran got limited relief from sanctions that have hobbled its economy, but an embargo on its oil exports remains in place while negotiations continue for a more enduring deal to ensure the country only uses nuclear technology for peaceful purposes such as power generation.
If Iranian oil returns to international markets, the additional supply is likely to make crude less expensive.
“With new (U.S.) domestic output capacity coming on line, plus the potential reemergence of Iranian barrels coming onto the global market, the table is set for lower prices over the longer term,” energy analyst Stephen Schork said in a market commentary.
Benchmark U.S. crude is down from about $110 in October because of ample supplies and muted demand.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline dropped 5.5 cents to $2.656 gallon.
— Heating oil shed 5.4 cents to $2.985 a gallon.
— Natural gas added 6.2 cents to $3.83 per 1,000 cubic feet.