Oil deepens loss on Iran talks; Brent ends March down 12 percent

Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:48pm EDT
 
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil fell for a third straight session on Tuesday, with Brent crude tumbling 12 percent for the month, as world powers entered into intense negotiations with Iran for a nuclear deal that could bring more of its oil to an oversupplied market.

The tumble was proof of the hurdles oil faced in establishing a bottom for prices since the selloff that began in June on worries of a supply glut. U.S. crude fell 11 percent for the quarter.

In Tuesday's session, prices ended off the day's lows as the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China faced difficulty in reaching a preliminary nuclear accord with Iran before a Tuesday midnight deadline at the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Brent oil LCOc1 settled down $1.18, or 2.1 percent, at $55.11 a barrel, after falling to $54.72 during the session.

U.S. crude CLc1 finished down $1.08, or 2.2 percent at $47.60, off its earlier low at $47.28.

In the past three sessions, oil lost more than 7 percent on heightened fears that a nuclear deal for Iran would raise the global glut in crude.

U.S. crude inventories were expected to have hit record highs for a 12th straight week after a build of 5.2 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday. Official stockpile data is due on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. (1030 ET). [API/S] [EIA/S]

Tehran is required to accept restrictions on its nuclear program aimed at preventing it from making a bomb, in exchange for the removal of sanctions on its exports. Aside from the preliminary pact they sought on Tuesday, negotiators have set a June 30 deadline for a full agreement specifying conditions Iran had to meet.   Continued...

 
A general view shows oil treatment facilities at Vankorskoye oil field owned by Rosneft company north of the Russian Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk March 25, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin