NEW YORK — Oil prices dropped near their lows for the year following warnings of a ‘‘severe recession’’ in Europe and an apparent easing of tensions over Iran’s nuclear program.
Benchmark US crude Tuesday lost 91 cents to close at $91.66 per barrel in New York while Brent crude fell 40 cents to $108.41 in London. Oil has declined almost every day this month as elections in Greece and France threatened existing plans to fix the eurozone economy. A top economist for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned Tuesday that the eurozone could fall into recession this year if leaders fail to stimulate the economy.
If that happens, it would stunt growth in world oil demand at a time when supplies are expanding.
Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Libya are producing more oil this year. And analysts say Iran’s oil exports could keep flowing if it lets international inspectors into its nuclear facilities.
Western leaders fear Iran is building a nuclear weapon. They have been trying to cut off Iran’s oil exports this year to pressure the country to allow in nuclear inspectors.
At the pump, US gasoline prices fell to $3.68 per gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express, and Oil Price Information Service.