Oil prices are rising as Isaac pushes into the heart of the Gulf's oil and refinery operations.

Benchmark crude gained 41 cents to $95.88 per barrel Tuesday in New York.

Forecasters expect Isaac to intensify into a hurricane by the time the storm reaches Louisiana later Tuesday. Nearly 80 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico had been halted as of Monday afternoon. A number of refineries have shut down or curtailed production.

Gasoline prices have been rising as the storm steered a path to the Gulf. The national average has risen 4 cents in a week to $3.756 per gallon. Prices in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Louisiana — states in Isaac's path — have tallied even bigger increases.