Global crude oil prices fell today as the spread of the coronavirus Delta variant in top consuming countries outweighed Mideast geopolitical tensions and a fall in US inventories.
Brent crude oil futures declined 67 cents to 71.74 dollars a barrel. US crude fell 86 cents to 69.70 dollars a barrel.
The US and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers, are grappling with rapidly spreading outbreaks of the highly contagious Delta variant that analysts fear will limit fuel demand at a time when it traditionally rises in both countries.
An expected fall in US inventories, however, capped some losses, and both contracts traded slightly higher earlier in the session.
Tensions in the Mideast Gulf also lent prices some support. Three maritime security sources clamed Iranian-backed forces seized an oil product tanker off the coast of the UAE yesterday, though Iran denied the reports. This is the second attack on a tanker since Friday in the region, which includes the Strait of Hormuz.