Oil prices fall as storm Alex set to miss platforms
Oil prices fell on Monday as tropical storm Alex was on course to avoid striking energy platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, dropped 80 cents to 78.07 dollars a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for August slid 99 cents to 77.13 dollars in midday London trade.
The first major storm of the Atlantic season was entering the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, leaving residents jittery after causing 10 deaths, but appeared set to miss hitting oil platforms.
Oil prices had jumped last week as the market fretted about the potential impact of Alex on global energy supplies, pushing the New York contract 2.35 dollars higher on Friday.
The Gulf of Mexico supplies a substantial portion of oil needs in the United States, the world's biggest energy consuming nation.
Tropical Storm Alex was expected to gain strength as it moves into the southwestern Gulf after dumping heavy rains across the Yucatan peninsula, having killed at least 10 people in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.
On its current path, Alex is projected to make landfall in Mexico later this week, with most of its force avoiding the oil spill area in the northeastern Gulf off the Louisiana coast.
© 2010 AFP