The weather system is now located about 105 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and 100 miles southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana.
Barry became a tropical storm Thursday afternoon and is expected to make landfall this weekend as a low-grade hurricane.
Gas prices may surge after Hurricane Barry hits the Gulf Coast, where it is now threatening millions. "They could get four times as much as they get for the entire month".
Besides the storm concerns, oil prices were also sent higher by inventory reports by the American Petroleum Institute and the Energy Information Administration that showed that crude oil inventories declined last week.
During the day, Barry will continue to bring heavy rain to Louisiana, with some of the rain expanding into parts of MS and Alabama.
After it comes ashore, it will quickly break up as it rains itself out. Barry probably won't be remembered for its winds. As it waits to see what unfolds and the level of need that will follow, the organization says it has plenty of work to do regionally as the Midwest recovers from flooding. The region now represents about 17% of the county's crude oil production and 5% of natural gas production. The storm is expected to weaken after it moves inland.
But Barry overcame those challenges, and as a hurricane will bring surges of ocean water into coastal areas, threaten to overtop levees in the region, and nearly certainly bring damaging or catastrophic flooding to certain areas over the next two days. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for much of the two coastal Alabama counties.
"It's really the river that has us anxious", said Betsey Hazard, who lives with her husband, Jack, and their two young children a block from the Mississippi River.
The storm system is already causing flooding in Louisiana.
Levees protect up to 20 feet and since the storm surge has passed, the risk of overtopping is minimal, the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said.
"No one should take this storm lightly, and I urge everyone to remain informed", Edwards said on Twitter.
"My house is raised, and being this close to the river we typically don't have too many problems", he said.
A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers doesn't believe levees will be topped by flood waters.
Formation chance through 5 days.low.10 percent.
US crude futures rose $1.55, or 2.7%, to $59.38 a barrel in early Wednesday trade. That includes major drainage pumps able to move 1,000 cubic feet (29 cubic meters) of water per second.
As natives and tourists in the Big Easy, Baton Rouge and other heavily populated areas in the storm's path hunkered down or wandered through quiet, emptied streets waiting for the worst, the Coast rescued more than a dozen people from the flooded remote island of Isle de Jean Charles.
Phillips 66 said it expected to complete the closing of its 253,600-barrel-per-day (bpd) Alliance, Louisiana, refinery on Thursday after local authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation of the area.
The storm may have the biggest impact on oil products, with the Louisiana coast home to almost 40 per cent of U.S. Gulf Coast refining capacity. Helicopters were also on standby, and supplies including drinking water and blankets were ready for distribution, the Guard said.
Chevron is preparing its onshore facilities for a potential response, Flores-Paniagua said.
The center of Barry is expected to cross the Louisiana coast by midday, then slowly move north-northwest then north through Louisiana. That system is still "a long, long, long way away", Walker said.