Gasoline futures dropped to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels today as oil refineries and pipelines on the US Gulf Coast shrugged off the damage and slowly resumed activity.
As oil infrastructure damage appeared to be less extensive than some had feared, gasoline futures fell 3.28 per cent to $1.6906 a gallon. Prices spiked to more than $2 per gallon last week as the hurricane took many Texas refineries offline.
Around 5.5 per cent of the US Gulf Coast’s oil production, or 96,000 barrels per day (bpd), still remained shut down as of Sunday, down from a peak of more than 400,000 bpd last week.
Meanwhile, oil prices edged higher. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures traded eight cents higher at $47.37 per barrel as demand for oil recovered.
The global benchmark, Brent crude, ended the day 41 cents lower at $52.34 per barrel, in part due to geopolitical tensions.
"The disruptions from Hurricane Harvey in the US Gulf Coast are gradually clearing. In the broader scheme of things, it appears that so far the energy industry was spared major damages to assets and infrastructure," analysts at JBC Energy said.
"However, some Houston-area refineries will likely remain offline for some time longer."