Oil prices rose on Friday as the US petroleum industry braced for Hurricane Harvey, which has grown into what may become the biggest storm to hit the US mainland in more than a decade.
Harvey has rapidly intensified since Thursday, spinning into potentially the biggest hurricane to hit the US mainland in 12 years, and expected to the coast of Texas between Houston and Corpus Christi.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $47.83 a barrel at 0703 GMT, up 40 cents, or 0.8 per cent, from their last settlement, reports Reuters.
International Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $52.53 per barrel, up 49 cents, or 0.9 per cent, from their last close.
Prices rose as production in the affected area shut down in preparation for the hurricane, and on expectations that closures could last if the storm causes extensive damage.
Traders said US imports could also be affected due to interrupted shipping.
US gasoline prices RBc1 have shot up by almost 10 per cent since Wednesday to $1.73 per gallon, their highest level since April as refiners shut down in preparation to the storm.
OPEC, together with non-OPEC producers including Russia, has pledged to cut output by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) this year and during the first quarter of 2018.
However, not all producers have lived up to their pledges and supplies remain high, resulting in the ongoing low prices.
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