Forecasters report strengthening of Isaac into a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Oil prices have moved up as Isaac gathered strength on its way into the heart of the Gulf of Mexico’s oil and refinery operations. Oil on the Nymex rose to US$96.33 per barrel as the market awaits the impact of the winds and rains accompanying Isaac on oil production and refinery operations in the region. As per US Government report, almost 94% oil production in the Gulf (1.3 mln bpd) has been halted. Refineries should escape significant damage if Isaac remains a Category 1 storm. Loss of electricity could pose a bigger problem and could keep the shut plants out of operation for about three days.
A fire was brought under control at Venezuela’s biggest oil refinery after burning for three days. The refinery is expected to restart operations in two days. The devastating fire at the country's main oil refinery has killed at least 48 people. Venezuelan President has declared three days of national mourning and promised an investigation into Saturday's explosion and fire at the country's Amuay refinery after a suspected gas leak.