Oil prices fall as refinery production dips in US


Oil prices have fallen marginally, while gasoline prices have risen to their highest since mid-2015 due to extensive flooding following storm Harvey that forced a quarter of refineries in the US to stop production. 

Brent crude futures slipped 6 cents to $51.94 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 9 cents to $46.35 a barrel, reported Reuters.

Harvey caused considerable damage and flooding in Texas and is currently moving into Louisiana, where further floods are anticipated.

In the refined product market, US gasoline prices increased by 3% at $1.8380 per gallon, the most since 31 July 2015.

Diesel futures also witnessed a jump of 1.2% in prices to $1.6854 a gallon. 

"US gasoline prices increased by 3% at $1.8380 per gallon, the most since 31 July 2015."

According to Goldman Sachs, refining production declined by 4.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in the US as of 29 August, representing 23% of the total refining production. 

The company further stated that crude production also decreased by 15%.

Multiple companies have decided to shut their refineries or reduce the output by half due to floods. 

Motiva Enterprises decided to close its 603,000bpd plant in Port Arthur, Texas, while Total halved the output of its refinery, which is in the same area. 

Previously, the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced a fall of 5.780 million barrels in US crude stocks in the last week. However, the assessment does not include the impact of storm Harvey.