Petroleum futures prices plunged in a "selling panic" Monday largely because of an over-abundance of supply.
Crude oil slumped the $1-a-barrel limit for daily trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract for delivery in February, for which there is no limit, settled $2.26 lower.
"The market dropped as much in one day as it did all last week, and last week was one of the worst I remember," said Peter Beutel, an analyst in New York with Rudolf Wolff Energy.
Heating oil and leaded gasoline sank the 2-cent-a-gallon limit on all contracts except the nearby February deliveries, which plunged more than twice that amount.