US crude oil prices sank nearly six percent Thursday after a fresh plunge in global stock markets, as traders fretted over warnings about a new vicious recession that could slam demand for energy.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for delivery in September, lost $5.20 to $82.38 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for October delivery dropped $3.61 to $106.99 a barrel.
The drop came after Morgan Stanley report issued a report saying the United States and Europe were dangerously close to recession and that growth in the big emerging economies would be slower than it earlier forecast.
"We are seeing a very diminished demand picture," said oil specialist John Kilduff of Again Capital.
"You're seeing a considerable shift away from the outlook that the economy is going to grow in the second half and next year."
Myrto Sokou at the Sucden brokerage in London said concerns about the lack of US oil demand have placed more pressure on crude oil prices.
"Following the gloomy macroeconomic picture and the recent big builds in oil supplies, we expect crude oil prices to extend recent losses, with potential for WTI to retest the $75-80 level in the coming weeks," Sokou added.
The growth picture was also hurt by poor to outright gloomy US economic data on jobs, inflation housing sales and regional manufacturing released during the day.