Oil prices fell by $1 a barrel today as increased exports from Iran undermined efforts by other oil producers to curb a global fuel supply.
Iran has sold more than 13 million barrels of oil held on tankers at sea, capitalising on its exemption from the OPEC deal struck last December to cut production in order to regain market share and court new buyers.
Reuters reported that last week, US energy companies added oil rigs for a 10th week in a row, which raised concerns that US production is increasing and undermining efforts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others to cut output.
Prices of Brent crude futures were at $56.84 per barrel at 0535 GMT, down 26 cents from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at $53.70 per barrel, down 29 cents.
Traders attributed the lower prices to the rising exports from Iran that came just as other members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut supplies in an effort to end a global glut.