Thanks to Hurricane Humberto’s jot through Texas, oil prices finished above $80 a barrel for the first time, reported Tulsa World.
On Wednesday, the Energy Department reported declines in inventories and refinery activity with the price ending at $79.91. On Thursday, the October contract for light, sweet crude finished at a record $80.09, up 18 cents, according to the newspaper.
Jeff Lenard, a spokesman with the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), told Tulsa World that while the price of crude is in record territory, it may not drive Tulsa gasoline prices to new highs.
“No one is predicting that this will lead to record gas prices,” he said.
Tulsa was averaging $2.76 per gallon of regular grade on Thursday evening. Earlier in the week, the price was averaging $2.92, according to AAA-Oklahoma. Lenard said demand for gasoline typically falls after Labor Day, though crude oil demand for agricultural use climbs.
On Thursday, a Humberto-induced rash of refinery shutdowns added to supply concerns.
Precautious refineries included Valero Energy Corp.’s 325,000 barrel-per-day facility, Total SA’s 180,000 barrel-per-day plant and Motiva Enterprises LLC’s refinery, which can process 285,000 barrels of oil per day.
The newspaper also reported that Exxon Mobil Corp. said its 350,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Beaumont, Texas, suffered a minor production outage but remained up and running.