London: World oil prices fell on 2 April but remained close to seven-month highs on supply concerns caused by the Britain-Iran crisis and a kidnapping in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer, traders said.
In London, the price of Brent North Sea crude for May fell 46 cents to $67.64 in electronic trading.
New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, lost 68 cents to $65.19 in electronic deals before the official open of the US market.
Iranian state television said on 2 April that all 15 British sailors and marines detained by Iran late last month have now “confessed” to illegally entering its territorial waters. Britain insists the sailors were in Iraqi waters when captured.
Iran is the world’s fourth biggest producer of crude oil and some analysts believe there is a risk that the Islamic Republic could move to disrupt its oil exports should the crisis with Britain escalate.
Last week, Brent crude reached $69.14 a barrel — the highest level since 4 September 2006 — on the Iran crisis.
On 2 April the market was also tracking events in Nigeria, where a British oil worker was kidnapped over the weekend, an industry source said.
A spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed that London was aware of an incident in which a British national was abducted.