NEW YORK: Crude-oil prices fell Thursday after six world powers and Iran announced they had agreed on a framework to curb Iran’s nuclear drive.
With the tentative deal, if confirmed, likely to allow Iran crude exports back on the markets, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in May, the global benchmark contract, slumped $2.15, settling at $54.95 a barrel in London trade.
The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery, shed 95 cents to close at $49.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Traders have been following the marathon negotiations closely. Shortly before the New York market closed, the world powers and Iran said that Tehran has agreed to curtail its nuclear program in return for the lifting of US and European Union nuclear-related sanctions that have harmed its economy.
Lifting sanctions could open up the flow of Iranian crude to an oversupplied global market. The glut has pushed crude prices more than 50 percent lower since last June.
The outline of the deal marked a major breakthrough in a 12-year standoff between Iran and the West, which has long feared Tehran wants to build a nuclear bomb.
Iran has insisted the nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.