Crude prices continue to decline

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"As of Monday afternoon, between 2.5 million bpd and 3.5 million bpd of refining capacity in the Gulf Coast region was offline due to a combination of refineries being shut down or running at reduced rates".

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

Petrol futures surged yesterday to another two-year high and crude oil was down, as flooding and damage from Tropical Storm Harvey shut almost a quarter of United States refinery capacity, curbing demand for crude while raising the risk of fuel shortages. Brent crude futures were down 6 cents, at $51.94 a barrel.

About 26 percent of Gulf natural gas production is offline, or about 828 million cubic feet (23.4 million cubic meters) per day, BSEE said.

Both West Texas Intermediate and Brent barrel prices traded down on Tuesday as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to pound the U.S. Gulf coast.

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The largest refinery in the U.S., Motiva Enterprises (Port Arthur), owned by the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, now operates at only 40 percent of its capacity (refining at 100 percent capacity is 605,000 barrels per day).

Brent for October delivery is down 0.077% and WTI futures for the same month are down 0.151% at $46.50 a barrel.

Gasoline prices surged but crude oil prices were lower Monday morning as Hurricane Harvey continued to wreak havoc on Houston-area refining. The contract's peak was $1.7888, the highest for NYMEX gasoline since July 2015. Some refineries were preparing for restarts, but heavy rains are expected to last through Wednesday, adding to catastrophic flooding in Houston.

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.

After settlement, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said its data showed that last week US crude stocks fell, while gasoline inventories increased and distillate stocks drew. 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.