Oil prices settled above US$80 a barrel as production problems at refineries as Hurricane Humberto hit Texas. Light, sweet crude for October delivery settled at a record US$80.09 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, October Brent crude fell 28 cents to settle at $77.40 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange.
Earlier this week, declines in crude and gasoline inventories and a drop in refinery activity were reported. This was followed by further supply concerns caused by Humberto, due to a power cut to several refineries in the Port Arthur, Texas, area. Another tropical system gaining strength in the Atlantic also supported prices. The shuttered refineries included Valero Energy's 325,000 bpd facility, Total's 180,000 bpd plant and Motiva Enterprises' refinery, which can process 285,000 bpd of oil. ExxonMobil's 350,000 bpd Beaumont, Texas, refinery suffered a minor production outage but remained up and running.