Oil prices eased in Asian trading Monday after Iran offered over the weekend to negotiate on its nuclear drive, dealers said.
New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, fell 1.56 dollars to 143.73 dollars a barrel from Thursday's close of 145.29. US markets were closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday.
Brent North Sea crude for August delivery fell one cent to 144.41.
"There is some kind of relaxing on the part of Iran," said Tony Nunan, a manager with Mitsubishi Corp's international petroleum business in Tokyo.
"So any kind of reduction in tension there will take some of the price pressure off," he said.
Driven partly by international tensions over Iran, oil broke a series of price records last week, continuing the momentum begun at the start of the year when oil pushed through 100 dollars for the first time.
The price surge has triggered fears about inflation and slower economic growth, while sparking protests around the world.