Investing.com – U.S. oil futures dropped below $30 a barrel to fresh 12-year lows on Friday, as concerns over a global supply glut worsened amid expectations for a rise in Iranian oil exports.
U.S. crude futures for February delivery were last at $29.70 a barrel, down 4.79% at its lowest level since 2004.
On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, the March Brent contract was down 3.47% at $29.84 a barrel, also a 12-year trough.
Markets were jittery amid expectations the International Atomic Energy Agency could issue its report on Iran’s compliance with an agreement to curb its nuclear programme during a Friday meeting in Vienna, potentially triggering the lifting of Western sanctions.
Though not all sanctions on Iran would be lifted once an agreement on its nuclear programme comes into effect, any additional oil production would add to the global supply glut.
Global crude production outpaced demand following a boom in U.S. shale oil and after a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries last year not to cut production in order to defend market share.
Most market analysts expect a global glut to worsen this year due to soaring production in North America, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
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