The price of crude touched its weakest level since July 24 on Tuesday’s close following the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to the main source of oil in the United States which closed down more than 13 percent of U.S. refineries.
International benchmark for oil prices Brent crude futures touched its lowest level in almost a week after it lost as much as 20 cents to finish at $51.69 a barrel. Meanwhile U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices drooped to one-month low on the day as it was 13 cents down to settle at $46.44 a barrel.
There are still no clarities on the scale of upstream outages in the United States and some are suggesting that damage to pipelines and oilfields could somehow support the price of WTI. Oil refiners were badly hit by Hurricane Harvey compared to crude producers.
Last Monday, gasoline futures in the stateside were somehow supported by refinery closures to notch a two-year high of $1.7799 a gallon, even if they withdraw higher by 2.9 percent to $1.7622 a gallon. According to some analysts, damage assessments may lead to volatility as some refineries were ready to open again. However, the heavy rains are still expected to last through Wednesday, given the flooding problem in Texas.
The International Energy Agency suggested that they may release emergency oil supplies in the midst of a prolonged blackout. Asian and European refineries are currently ready to replace to oil products that were lost.