Energy Prices Plunge As Investors Bet on Supply

Markets watched OPEC production and waited for the release of inventory news on Wednesday

MARKETSCOPE : Energy prices plunged on Tuesday as investors made their bets about supplies.

March West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices plunged $2.02 to $63.09, as investors speculated that there were ample supplies around to meet demand. But January Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' production amounted to 29.54 million barrels per day -- its lowest level since February 2005.

Investors waited for weekly inventory reports scheduled for release by the Department of Energy on Wednesday. Standard & Poor's expected to see crude oil stocks rose 2 million barrels a day, distillates fell 1 to 2 million barrels, and gasoline rose 1 to 2 million barrels. All those categories were above last year's levels and above their 5-year averages.

March heating oil fell 7.10 cents to 169.18 cents, while March gasoline futures lost 5.17 cents to 159.25 cents.