Oil futures prices fell below $14 Thursday, passing another milepost in their runaway decline.
Only Tuesday, crude oil slumped below $15 for the first time on the New York Mercantile Exchange. And it was less than three months ago that prices were above $30. "It wasn't pretty out there, if you were long (having bought contracts)", said John Hill, an analyst in New York with Merrill Lynch Commodities.
"There's not a reason for anyone to want it own it," he said.
Crude oil, heating oil and gasoline were all sharply lower, with some contracts dropping the limit allowed for daily trading before trimming those losses. The March contract for crude oil hit $13.85 a barrel before settling at $14.17.
Analysts said that while American Petroleum Institute figures released Wednesday showed a drawdown in distillate stocks, they also revealed higher refinery runs of crude oil.
Thursday's price drop is a reflection of those higher refinery runs, said Peter Beutel, an analyst in New York with Rudolf Wolff Energy.