Oil prices edged down on Monday, pulling away from the previous week’s multi-year highs as a relentless increase in U.S. drilling activity indicated an increase in production, while resistance surfaced in Europe and Asia to U.S. sanctions against major crue exporter Iran.
Despite the decline, crude prices continued to be near over three-year-highs hit in the previous week as markets expect Iran’s oil exports to decline markedly once U.S. sanctions take effect later this year.
Brent crude futures traded at $76.79 per barrel, 33 cents or 0.4 percent lower from their last settlement.
U.S. WTI crude futures stood at $70.51 per barrel, falling 19 cents or 0.3 percent.
Last week, both crude contracts hit their highest since November 2014 , with Brent at $78 per barrel and WTI at $71.89 per barrel.
The reimposed sanctions come amid an already tight oil market caused by record Asian demand and the deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to limit production aimed at supporting prices.
Prices were also limited by an increase in U.S. drilling for new oil supply. Ten oil rigs were added by U.S. drillers in the week to May 11, bringing the overall number to 844, the highest level since March 2015, according to Baker Hughes.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com