Oil prices dropped below $77 a barrel today aided by a strong dollar and news that tropical storm Alex will cause limited disruption to installations in the Gulf of Mexico’s production region.

For August delivery, US crude fell by $1.22 to stand at $77.03 by 06.22 GMT, while London Brent crude dropped by $1.01 to $76.58 a barrel, according to Reuters.

Distillates are expected to have risen by 900,000 barrels last week, while crude stockpiles are forecast to fall by 1.1 million barrels and petrol supplies to drop by 400,000 barrels.

BP‘s efforts to double the amount of oil it can capture from the ruptured Macondo well will be delayed by a week because of the high waves caused by tropical storm Alex.