Oil prices were sharply lower in early Asian trade, extending a brutal sell-off fueled by fears of a glut from Iran, after international sanctions against the country were lifted at the weekend.
U.S. WTI light sweet crude oil prices were recently trading 0.45 percent lower at $29.25 a barrel, after falling 3.6 percent to hit the session's low of $28.36 barrel, while European Brent crude was last 0.48 percent lower $28.82 a barrel after falling 4.4 percent to $27.67 a barrel.
Both grades were moving in the range of prices not seen since late 2003 after falling about 6 percent on Friday in the U.S. session.
Iran, which is an OPEC member, is ready to increase its crude oil exports by half a million barrels a day, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing statements from the country's deputy oil minister.
This has caused the market to panic, despite the fact that oil investors had anticipated the return of Iran to oil markets and that development of the oil industry in the country was likely to be a slow process, said American Enterprise Institute's resident fellow, Matthew McInnis.