Oil slides to lowest since 2003 as Iran sanctions are lifted

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Singapore: Jan 18; Oil prices hit their lowest since 2003 on Monday, as the market braced for a jump in Iranian exports after the lifting of sanctions against the country over the weekend. 

The UN nuclear watchdog on Saturday said Tehran had met its commitments to curtail its nuclear programme, and the United States immediately revoked sanctions that had slashed Iran's oil exports by around 2 million barrels per day (bpd) since its pre-sanctions 2011 peak to little more than 1 million bpd. 

"Iranian exports come at a very bad time," said Barclays analysts. A chronic global surplus of a million barrels or more of crude daily has pulled down oil prices by over 75 percent since mid-2014 and by over a quarter since the start of 2016. 

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