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Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower

Crude oil prices tumbled on Tuesday amid signs U.S. and Iranian officials may start new negotiations and on reports that Hurricane Barry did not cause any significant damage to oil infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended down $1.96, or 3.3%, at $57.62 a barrel, the lowest settlement since July 5.

On Monday, WTI crude oil futures for August ended down $0.63, or about 1.1%, at $59.58 a barrel, amid worries over outlook for energy demand growth.

U.S. President Donald Trump said at a Cabinet meeting today that progress has been made with Iran, signaling tensions could ease in the Mideast.

Although Trump did not give details about the progress, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the meeting Iran had said it was prepared to negotiate about its missile program.

After Barry weakened to a tropical depression and moved further inland, producers on Monday began restoring output.

Anadarko said it has restarted production at its Marlin offshore facility. "We expect to resume production at all of our operated facilities that were shut in due to Barry following platform assessments and availability of third-party infrastructure," Anadarko said in a statement.

Meanwhile, traders were looking ahead to the weekly inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

While API will release its report later today, the EIA's inventory data will be out Wednesday morning.

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