Brent oil dropped below $30 a barrel for the first time since April 2004 on speculation Iranian shipments will soon climb.
Crude fell as much as 2.9 percent in London on signs that the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers may be implemented by the time markets open on Monday, triggering sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic that paves the way for a surge in oil exports. It will add 500,000 barrels a day of exports within a week of the removal of sanctions and 1 million within six months, Roknoddin Javadi, head of National Iranian Oil Co. said last month, according to the Shana news agency.
Brent oil slipped 63 cents, or 2 percent, to $30.23 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract touched $29.96, the lowest since April 2004.
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery rose 4 cents to settle at $30.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The U.S. benchmark crude was at a 25-cent premium to Brent, up from 42 cent discount at Tuesday’s close.