Oil prices rose yet again Thursday, closing above $80 a barrel for the first time ever in New York.
The October crude contract was up 18 cents to settle at $80.09, just below its intraday high of $80.20. Natural gas, coming off a big rally Wednesday, sank 41 cents to $6.03 per million British thermal units.
A day after releasing bullish crude inventory data, the Energy Department posted figures on natural gas. Last week, the government said, about 64 billion cubic feet were added to stores, taking the total to 3.07 trillion cubic feet. The increase was slightly ahead of the 61 billion consensus.
Heating oil was little changed at around $2.22 a gallon, and reformulated gasoline tacked on 2 cents to $2.04 a gallon.
Overnight, the storm named Humberto quickly grew in strength and hit Texas as a Category 1 hurricane. The maximum sustained winds were 85 mph.
As a result of the system, three refineries were shut down in Port Arthur, Texas, and a line of vessels was temporarily unable to enter or leave the Houston Ship Channel, according to
, a provider of information on the energy and metals sectors.
The refineries, the report said, are operated by
and Motiva Enterprises, a joint venture of
Royal Dutch Shell
and Saudi Aramco.
Traders will also continue to monitor a tropical depression east of the Lesser Antilles in the Atlantic Ocean for signs of strengthening, especially if it's tracking toward the Gulf of Mexico.