Oil production also took a major hit, but is likely to bounce back more quickly.
Wednesday's settlement saw the week's high at $49.16. Trading was closed Monday in observance of Labor Day.
More importantly, Brent's premium against WTI reached its highest for the year.
USA crude production output fell nearly 8 percent because of Harvey, from 9.5 million barrels per day (bpd) to 8.8 million bpd, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The data has only captured up until Friday 1 September, so next week's data may well show even worse disruptions considering that the flooding worsened over the weekend.
Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's state oil company, will cut supplies to Asia, the world's biggest oil consuming region, by 1.8 million barrels in October, with the reductions affecting mostly customers in Japan, the source said.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build of 2.791 million barrels in United States crude oil inventories, compared to analyst expectations of a build of 4.022 million barrels for the week ending September 1.
Buckeye Partners, the largest owner of oil storage facilities in the Caribbean, with 41.1 million barrels of capacity, on Thursday shut its Yabucoa oil terminal in Puerto Rico ahead of Hurricane Irma and was preparing for the storm at two other marine terminals in Florida and the Bahamas. However, it is trying to make a comeback on the new Saudi pledge to reduce exports by as much as a million barrels per day. Exports were 153,000 barrels per day, a steep drop of 749,000 barrels per day. When the value falls, commodity prices increase because more dollars are required to purchase the same quantity as when the value was higher. The Reporter-Telegram tracks WTI "all other areas" and West Texas sour.
London Brent crude for November delivery LCOc1 was up 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $54, having settled down 1.3 percent. Prices slid $1.61 to close at $47.48 on Friday, the most since July 5.
The group raise its combined futures and options position in NY and London by 20,525 contracts to 186,421 during the period.
WTI posted has an average price of $45.75 and is down $4.75 (9.74 percent) this year. Lower crude oil prices have a negative impact on oil producers and drillers such as Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO), Warren Resources (WRES), Atwood Oceanics (ATW), Transocean (RIG), and Diamond Offshore (DO).
Even so, data released after market settlement by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed hedge funds and other money managers have raised their bullish bets on WTI by more than 20,500 contracts for the week ended Sept 5. after slashing those positions by 105,000 contracts in the previous week to August 29 after Hurricane Harvey.