Oil prices climb on persistent Middle East tensions
NEW YORK — Global oil prices climbed Thursday on the back of geopolitical jitters surrounding Syria, but a rise in US inventories moderated the price gains in US trade.
In New York, the main contract, WTI light sweet crude for delivery in November, rose to $92.07 a barrel, up 82 cents from Wednesday.
London’s Brent contract for November delivery gained $1.38 to $115.71 a barrel, the highest level since mid-September.
“Brent is continuing to profit from the geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and from the delays in the resumption of North Sea production,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.
Scheduled maintenance on facilities in the North Sea has trimmed some crude production and delivery.
Meanwhile Turkey’s interception Wednesday of a Syrian Air aircraft en route from Moscow to Damascus, forcing it to land in Turkey, added to the ongoing tensions that have seen cross-border shooting over the past week.
Syria called the interception of the plane on Wednesday “another sign of the hostile policies of the Erdogan government, which harbors (rebels) and bombs Syrian territory,” the foreign ministry said, referring to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In the United States, the Department of Energy said that crude inventories surged by 1.7 million barrels in the week ending October 5, refinery utilization fell, and US crude imports also dropped, painting a picture overall of slightly lower demand.