KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Oil prices dipped below $95 a barrel Tuesday ahead of the resumption of talks to curb Iran's nuclear program and amid expectations of high U.S. supplies.
Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was down 29 cents to $94.85 a barrel at midafternoon Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 54 cents to $95.14 on Monday.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, shed 23 cents to $106.17 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.
Six key powers are expected to resume talks with Iran next week in Geneva after initial negotiations failed to reach a deal. But there was some diplomatic progress as Iran promised to allow expanded U.N. monitoring of its nuclear sites, which could boost the next round of talks.
The U.S.-led negotiations aim to curbs on Iran's nuclear program, including a cap on enrichment to a level that can be turned quickly to weapons use. In return, the key powers will consider a gradual rollback of sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy. This could bring an influx of Iranian oil into world markets at a time of already abundant supplies.
Oil prices were also dragged down as investors expect U.S. crude supplies to rise further, which points to slowing demand, analysts said. The weekly crude stockpile report is due to be released Wednesday.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline added 0.2 cent to $2.598 a gallon.
— Heating oil eased 0.9 cent to $2.883 a gallon.
— Natural gas fell 0.5 cent to $3.569 per 1,000 cubic feet.