Prices for oil in international markets continue to slide, however gasoline demand across USA to their highest since July, 2015. The demand rises as more than 1/5 of the refineries across were wiped out in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which has left severe flooding and storm damage across the Texan state.
Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded to a storm has cause severe and massive floods across coastal areas of Texas. The storm is expected to move on to Louisiana, prompting fears of flooding in the state.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.31 per barrel at 0504 GMT, down 13 cents from their last close. Brent crude futures were down 21 cents, at $51.79 a barrel.
In the refined product market, price movements have been more dramatic. U.S. gasoline prices were over 3 percent higher at $1.8396 per gallon. Prices earlier climbed to the most since July 31, 2015, at $1.842.
Diesel futures also jumped, gaining 1.2 percent to $1.6854 a barrel and were earlier at their highest since Jan. 9 at $1.697.
The largest refinery in the United States, Motiva Enterprises' 603,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) plant in Port Arthur, Texas, was shutting down on Tuesday night because of flooding.
“Severe flooding due to tropical storm Harvey is affecting refinery capacity and therefore crude demand,” ANZ bank said.
Preparing for more rain and floods, Total cut production in half at its 225,500 bpd refinery, also in Port Arthur.