A massive and deadly explosion at the third largest oil refinery in the US caused petrol price futures to rise briefly to a new record.
The cost of oil also increased slightly due to fears of the effect on the world’s over-stretched energy market.
One eyewitness to the blast at the Texas City refinery near Houston said: “I heard a big boom, a real big one. There was a lot of fire and a lot of stuff flying in the air, bust pipes and a lot of dust and you could feel the heat from a lot of feet away.” Fifteen maintenance workers died in the explosion at BP’s largest refinery in the US. Over 100 people were injured.
The refinery produces about three per cent of the country’s petrol.
BP said output had not been reduced, but prices rose. That reversed Wednesday’s big fall when prices dropped 4% in just one day after the US government confirmed crude supplies were at their highest in nearly three years.