Oil prices fell Monday after a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico dispersed without causing damage to key oil and gas infrastructure. The tropical depression was feared to develop into a storm capable of damaging oil and gas installations in the Gulf of Mexico, but weakened over the weekend. Light, sweet crude for November delivery dipped to US$81.34 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. November Brent crude dipped to US$78.90 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
Concerns had caused crude oil and natural gas companies to evacuate workers from offshore rigs as a precaution, and suspend almost 25% of the Gulf of Mexico's daily oil production. Workers have since been redeployed and production restored. BP PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and ConocoPhillips have been reported to resume production of more than 1 mln barrels of oil equivalent a day.