Oil prices are mixed on Friday as negotiators say progress has been achieved in reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in Vienna, which would raise the possibility of having large volumes of Iranian crude on the market.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $64.94 per barrel at 0659 GMT for a 0.26% decrease after closing Thursday at $65.11 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $61.91 per barrel at the same time for a 0.04% decline after it ended the previous session at $61.94 a barrel.
The optimistic comments from officials on the Vienna nuclear talks created market jitters over the return of Iranian supplies to an already volatile market from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vienna has been hosting negotiations between Iran and world powers for the past several weeks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that an agreement in principle has been achieved with world powers in Vienna for lifting sanctions on oil, petrochemical, shipping, insurance, and banking, while there are still some remaining issues to be discussed.
On Wednesday, the Deputy Secretary-General and Political Director of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora, also acknowledged that significant progress has been achieved, and he expressed certainty that a final agreement would be made in the not too distant future, without specifying a certain deadline.
However, investors remain hopeful of a fuel demand recovery with the ongoing vaccination programs in the US and Europe. This week, European states have begun to gradually relax restrictions against the pandemic as vaccinations pick up pace and new virus cases decrease.
EU member states also agreed on Wednesday on a coordinated approach to open the bloc’s borders to vaccinated non-EU nationals, in particular for those vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine, referring to the four jabs authorized by the European Medicine Agency.
The bloc had decided to restrict non-EU nationals' entry to its territories last March to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu