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Oil Holding Steady as News of Iran’s Return to the Oil Markets Fade

May 25, 2021

Oil prices held firm Tuesday, holding around one-week highs after surging more than 3% the previous session as prospects of an early return of oil exporter Iran to international crude markets weakened.

Brent crude futures were down 6 cents at $68.40 a barrel, having jumped 3% on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell 8 cents to $65.97 a barrel, after gaining 3.9% the previous session.

Indirect talks between the United States and Iran are due to continue in Vienna this week. Talks were given fresh hope after Tehran and the U.N. nuclear agency extended a monitoring agreement on the Middle Eastern country’s atomic programme.

Worries that Iran was soon going to start selling oil if an agreement resulted in the lifting of U.N. and other sanctions on crude exports had pulled down prices earlier but talks have not been conclusive.

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken poured cold water over the prospect of a revival, stating that there was no indication that Iran is willing to comply with nuclear commitments,.Still, the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is patchy, indicating a continued mixed outlook for oil demand.

Parts of Europe and the United States are recording fewer infections and deaths, prompting governments to ease restrictions, but in other areas such as India – the world’s third-biggest oil importer – rates are still extremely high.

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