Oil prices dropped below $103 a barrel Friday, a day after the U.N. Security Council made progress in the quest to get Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery fell 31 cents to $102.72 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The council's five permanent members on Thursday agreed to a resolution calling for Syria to get rid of its chemical weapons. That helped ease fears of an escalation in Syria's civil war since the U.S. has been threatening to attack Syria in retaliation for what Washington says was a chemical gas attack by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad against civilians in suburban Damascus.
The prospect of an attack, and the potential for a disruption in oil supply routes, caused oil prices to spike in recent weeks. Prices have gradually fallen in recent days as diplomacy over Syria advanced.
Reports of progress in talks between Western powers and Iran on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program also weighed on prices as an agreement could end the U.S.-led sanctions against Tehran and significantly increase its oil exports.