Oil prices have declined after reaching their highest levels in more than three and a half years on Monday.

The drop in prices is on account of an impending decision by US President Donald Trump on whether sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 dipped 78 cents, or 1.1%, to trade at $69.95 a barrel after crossing the $70 mark for the first time since November 2014 on Monday, according to Reuters.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 decreased 67 cents, or 0.9%, to reach $75.50 per barrel.

A decision in favour of a re-introduction of Iran sanctions is likely to affect export of crude from Iran.

Trump is expected to make a decision today on whether to remain in the nuclear deal reached with Iran in 2015 or to enforce fresh sanctions on the nation.

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By GlobalData
“Until we get more clarity on Trump’s intentions, we are unlikely to get further upside on crude.”

The decision was originally expected to be arrived at by the 12 May deadline.

Energy Aspects oil analyst Virendra Chauhan was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Until we get more clarity on Trump’s intentions, we are unlikely to get further upside on crude.

“If we assume he goes back to 2012 sanctions, we estimate a loss of 0.4 million barrels a day of Iranian supply based on recent Iranian export numbers. Anything larger than this will be bullish.”

In case US sanctions on Iran are restored, Trump is mandated by existing US laws to wait at least 180 days before imposing restrictions on banks of nations that fail to comply with the sanctions.

Barclays Research analysts were quoted by the news agency as saying in a report: “Regardless, his foreign policy continues to ignite tensions in the main oil-exporting centre and is, thus, price supportive.”