New York » Oil dropped below $100 a barrel Monday for the first time since early July as U.S. supplies keep rising and the risks of disruption to Middle East shipments subside.
By late morning in New York, benchmark crude was down $1.11 a barrel to $99.70 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The nation’s crude oil supplies rose by 4 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 11, the government said Monday, in a report that was delayed five days due to the government shutdown. Analyst expected a smaller increase of 2.25 million barrels. At 374.5 million barrels, the nation’s crude oil supply is 1.4 percent above year-ago levels and the highest since July.
The supply report for last week will be released Wednesday.
Other factors weighing on oil prices in the past weeks include the agreement to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons and apparent progress between Iran and world powers.
"Can anyone remember a time where the possibility of a potential future attack on Iran did not figure into the equation of the price of oil?" wrote Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The PRICE Futures Group, in a note to clients.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, was down 30 cents to $109.64 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
» Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $2.67 a gallon.
» Natural gas slipped 3 cents to $3.73 per 1,000 cubic feet.
» Heating oil shed 1 cent to $3.02 a gallon.
Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.
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