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Julian Lee

The Real Worry for Oil Prices Isn't Missiles Over Syria

Supplies would survive. Sanctions against the oil industries of Iran and Russia are another matter.
Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East have already boosted oil prices and there is plenty of scope for them to move higher still. That an oil price spike would follow Western missiles launched at Syria seems a foregone conclusion. But for prices to really keep moving higher, the U.S. would have to take serious action against Syria's key sponsors: Russia and Iran.

Any form of attack on Syria should have little or no physical impact on oil supplies. Syria hasn't exported any since the start of its civil war in 2011. To keep the country running, Iran has been delivering around 50,000 barrels a day of crude to Syria's Banias terminal, according to Bloomberg tanker tracking.