The price of oil briefly dipped below 50 dollars a barrel for the first time in more than five years as evidence mounted that the world will be oversupplied with oil this year.
US oil dipped to 49.95 dollars before quickly inching back over 50 dollars. In June last year it traded for 107 dollars a barrel.
Oil has been falling for several months because global supplies are rising, especially in the US, at a time when weakness in the global economy is slowing the growth in oil demand.
Citigroup has cut its forecast for 2015 global oil prices as a result of high supplies.
The last time US oil traded below 50 dollars was April 29 2009.