Oil prices are rising as Tropical Storm Isaac pushes into the heart of the U.S. Gulf\'s oil and refinery operations. Benchmark crude gained 41 cents to $95.88 per barrel Tuesday morning in New York, according to AP. 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. Although the storm isn\'t expected to damage refineries, refinery owners often shut down operations in advance of a storm. Oil analysts said traders are focusing on a Venezuelan refinery explosion, Isaac and U.S. consumer confidence, which fell in August despite improving U.S. job and housing markets.