Gasoline Futures Soar On Katrina Damage

Investors responded to news of seven oil rigs left adrift

S&P MARKETSCOPE: September gasoline futures surged 20% to 41.44 cents in late trading Tuesday, following a Coast Guard report that Hurricane Katrina had left seven oil rigs adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil workers could not get to the sites due to flooded roads, among other things.

September heating oil futures soared 16.71 cents to 207.59 cents on the news. October West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures rose $2.61 to $69.81, a record closing high that was nonetheless down from a record intraday high of $70.85. Meanwhile September natural gas futures rose 15 cents to $9.51. It remains unclear how much damage natural gas pipelines suffered beneath the water.