The price of crude slipped following the failed Turkey coup as shipments continued through the vital conduit for oil from Russia and Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea.
Futures declined as much as 2.3% in New York, erasing gains triggered by the attempted coup on Friday.
Oil tankers are loading and unloading at Turkey’s ports and supplies are arriving in ships and pipelines from neighbouring countries, an energy ministry official said on Sunday, asking not to be identified in line with ministry rules.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered reprisals for the attempt to oust him.
Oil’s decline after gains on Friday is “a response to the knowledge that the pipelines continue to flow through the country, which is a main carrier of crude to Western markets”, Bart Melek, head of global commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said.
“At this point, there’s very little indication that this is going to change, so the market will continue to respond to broad supply-demand fundamentals,” he added.
Brent for September settlement declined 94c, or about 2%, to $46.67 (€42.15) a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $1.04 to the equivalent contract for West Texas Intermediate.
WTI crude for August delivery fell 82c to $45.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in New York. The contract had closed 0.6% higher at $45.95 a barrel on Friday.
The Turkish Straits, including the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, are one of the world’s major chokepoints for seaborne crude, with about 2.9m barrels of oil passing through daily in 2013, the latest year of available data from the US Energy Information Administration.
No cargoes have been halted since large tankers were barred from sailing in the Bosphorus waterway near Istanbul for several hours on Saturday, a port agent said.
The country is also home to pipelines that transport crude and condensate from nations including Iraq and Azerbaijan to the port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea in southern Turkey.
BP, operator of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from Azerbaijan via Georgia, confirmed that oil was flowing uninterrupted.
The unsuccessful uprising within Turkey’s military has, however, dashed hopes of reviving travel bookings for what remains of the peak mid-year travel season, following a 10% decline in visitors to the country in the first quarter of this year.
The number of international visitors to Turkey is expected to decline 5.2% this year to 32.9m, according to Euromonitor International.
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