Crude oil prices plummeted on Wednesday on increasing worries about the outlook for global demand and a supply glut.
The health of the global economy was foremost on investors' minds following news from the United States that the yield on the benchmark ten-year note dropped below the yield on the two-year note earlier this morning - which is widely seen as an indicator of a recession.
Disappointing economic data from Germany and China added to the negative sentiment.
In addition, U.S. government data showed that crude oil inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels last week, fueling fears of a supply glut.
West Texas Intermediate tumbled $1.71 or 3.01 percent to $55.02 per barrel.