Oil rises as dollar drops, US Gulf Coast braces for hurricane

Oil rises as dollar drops, US Gulf Coast braces for hurricane”

NEW YORK, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Friday as the dollar fell and as us petroleum industry braced for Hurricane Harvey, which could become the biggest storm to hit the USA mainland in more than a decade. Brent crude was 14 cents higher at Dollars 52.18 a barrel by 2:20 p.m. ET (1820 GMT).

Gulf Coast conventional cash gasoline prices for shipment on the Colonial Pipeline were seen hitting a near three-year high.

The storm is also threatening other energy infrastructure.

On Friday, Harvey strengthened to a Category 3 storm.

They've also shut in wells that pump almost a quarter of the Gulf's oil, or more than 420,000 barrels a day, and 26 percent of the region's natural gas, or 835 million cubic feet a day.

Gasoline futures were up slightly at Dollars 1.65 a gallon. "You're anxious about wind damage, flood damage, power outages and the workforce being able to get to the refineries".

According to Reuters, storm-related shutdowns have knocked approximately 428,568 barrels of oil per day off the US' "roughly 1.75 million bpd pumped from the Gulf", per the estimate of the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

ConocoPhillips, also based in Houston, halted operations and production in the Eagle Ford and evacuated some of its workers from the Magnolia platform in the Gulf. The dollar fell after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen offered few clues on the path for US monetary policy in a speech Friday.

Energy companies have pulled workers from offshore oil platforms and halted onshore drilling in south Texas.

The gains in oil prices Friday were in part a reaction to Thursday's larger swings.

JP Morgan states that arguably, the biggest change in the USGC oil market since it last faced disruption from a major storm is the rise in product and crude exports from the region.

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