Oil prices down in Asian trade on worries over Greece, Iran talks


SINGAPORE–Oil prices fell in Asia Monday as dealers fretted over a collapse in Greece’s debt talks and a possible return of Iranian supplies disrupted by international sanctions, analysts said.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery fell seven cents to US$59.89 while Brent crude for July eased seven cents to US$63.80 in afternoon trade.

Markets are ��closely tracking the Greek debt crisis and the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the big six powers,�� said Sanjeev Gupta, head of the Asia-Pacific oil and gas practice at business consultancy firm EY.

Crunch negotiations between Athens and its creditors fell apart on Sunday, fueling fears the cash-starved government was heading irreversibly into the financial abyss with a huge IMF debt payment due at the end of the month. Investors are also focusing on Iran ahead of a June 30 deadline for the Islamic republic and world powers to come to an agreement on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program.

Six global powers �X the UK, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States �X are trying to nail down a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions by reducing its stockpiles of enriched uranium and mothballing some of its sites. Iran has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves but its exports have fallen from more than 2.2 million barrels per day in 2011 to about 1.3 million because of the sanctions.