NEW YORK --- Crude oil prices plunged 8.9 percent Wednesday and Thursday as mild weather in the U.S. curbed demand for heating fuel. That's the biggest price drop since December 2004, according to a report from Bloomberg. Weather Derivatives, which provides weather forecasts, said that home-heating demand in the Northeast will be 40 percent below normal through Jan. 11. The price decline accelerated after a government report indicated a surge in fuel supplies. Crude oil for February delivery fell $2.73, or 4.7 percent, to $55.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That's the lowest close since June 15, 2005, Bloomberg reported. Compared to a year ago, prices are down 12 percent.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials