Oil prices climb on US Gulf Coast refinery disruption

Two other refiners have also said the channel disruption had affected their operations, sparking worries over supply during the peak (US) summer driving season, said Mike Fitzpatrick of Fimat.

Fitzpatrick noted that the price of oil, adjusted for inflation, is at its most expensive since 1980, the year after the Iranian revolution, and is hovering close to its record of 75.35 dollars hit in April.

"Yet, high prices have yet to check consumption in the US and China," he said.

Elsewhere, recent Chinese customs data showed the country’s oil demand growth surged 13.5 percent in May, as refiners boosted output and curbed exports ahead of a domestic price increase to meet peak summer demand.

A rapid increase in car sales in China — to 24.1 percent in May from a year earlier — have also contributed to the rise in gasoline demand, said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin and Gertz in Singapore.

China’s demand for all commodities "continues to exceed expectations," Phil Flynn of Alaron said.