Refineries with output of at least 4.4 million barrels per day (bpd) were offline on Tuesday, representing almost 24 percent of USA production, according to Reuters estimates and company reports.
The front-month contract in USA crude's benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures settled down $0.13, or 0.3%, at $46.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
US crude oil futures extended their slide on Tuesday while gasoline prices jumped another 3% to 2-year highs as more refineries in Texas closed in the aftermath of a weekend hurricane, amplifying concerns that crude stockpiles will balloon in the near term while fuel supplies run short.
The expected USA crude build-up on Tuesday widened the WTI discount to Brent to $5.64 per barrel, its widest in over two years.
"Because that demand is gone that's where the selling pressure in the market is coming from", said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy. The contract's peak was $1.7888, the highest for NYMEX gasoline since July 2015. Onshore, numerous nation's refineries remain offline because of heavy flooding in and around the Houston area.
Gains intensified for refined products after sources on Wednesday said Total's Port Arthur, Texas, refinery had been shut by a power outage resulting from the storm.
Harvey battered into Texas on Friday as a Category Four hurricane, tearing down homes and businesses on the Gulf Coast, and triggering massive floods.
Crude markets were also looking at disruptions in Libya and Colombia.
"The impact could linger for several weeks or longer, depending on how long it takes Texas refiners to return to normal operations", DeHaan said. Jefferies bank said it was lowering its fourth-quarter Brent oil price estimates to $55 a barrel from $60 and its 2018 forecast to $57 from $64.
The storm and ensuing flooding have left at least 300,000 people without power and roughly 30,000 displaced to temporary shelters. It has been reported on Twitter by people living in the Houston area that Joel Osteen has closed Lakewood Church due to flooding.
The Rangers play 81 games at home, and by late September, they'll be eliminated from playoff contention in the American League. But MLB announced that it has not yet determined a location for the Mets-Astros series.
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So we can assume the stark message above was intended for people who did not leave in the face of the warning. Meanwhile, more than 17,000 people are seeking refuge in Texas shelters, the American Red Cross said .
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