Business

Oil up slightly, but drop is expected

The Shell refinery on Pulau Bukom, off Singapore. Oil has shown a gain of nearly 2 percent in recent trading sessions.

ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images

The Shell refinery on Pulau Bukom, off Singapore. Oil has shown a gain of nearly 2 percent in recent trading sessions.

NEW YORK — Oil reversed an early decline Monday and finished above $92 for the first time this month.

Benchmark oil rose 11 cents to end at $92.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price was below $91 a barrel during morning trading.

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Although oil shows a gain of nearly 2 percent over the past three trading sessions, many traders believe the large supply of oil in the United States will keep a lid on the price.

Last week the Energy Department said that the nation’s supply of crude is 10.3 percent above year-ago levels. And US oil production, at more than 7 million barrels a day, is at the highest level since the late 1990s.

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Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, estimates that oil supplies grew another 2.5 million barrels in the week ended March 8. He also said oil could start to fall toward $85 a barrel later in the week if US economic data boosts the dollar. A stronger dollar makes oil a less enticing investment for traders using other currencies.

Pump prices fell slightly over the weekend. The nationwide average for a gallon of gas is $3.70. The average price for gas in Massachusetts was $3.699 a gallon in the latest weekly AAA survey, down 3 cents from the previous week’s average

Associated Press

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