Hurricane Harvey pushes gasoline prices to the highest level since 2015


Deadly Hurricane Harvey has disrupted oil production in Texas (Source: Getty)

Oil prices slipped this morning, but gasoline has risen to its highest level since mid-2015 as damage caused by Hurricane Harvey shut down more than 16 per cent of US oil refineries.

The flooding and storm damage has caused demand for crude to dip, weakening prices. Fears of a fuel shortage have risen to boost gasoline, however.

Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc in Texas, the heart of America's oil production, causing "catastrophic and life-threatening" flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Motiva Enterprises' Port Arthur plant, the country's largest crude refinery, was shut down last night because of flooding.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were trading down 0.24 per cent to $46.33 per barrel, while the global benchmark, Brent crude, dipped 0.37 per cent to $51.81 per barrel.

Gasoline prices were trading more than three per cent higher at $1.8380 per gallon.

More damage could be caused throughout the next 12 to 24 hours, and six to 12 more inches of rain could fall in eastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana as the storm moves along the coast, the NHC said.

Read more: Oil prices edge lower after Hurricane Harvey rips through Texas

Tags: Oil prices