Oil prices rose sharply Tuesday as the Obama administration signaled a potential military strike against the Syrian regime.
Crude oil futures were trading at roughly $109 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange late Tuesday morning, which is more than $3 higher than Monday’s closing price of $105.92.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday that the military is “ready to go” if President Obama orders strikes in response to the alleged chemical weapon attack on civilians, a day after Secretary of State John Kerry warned of “consequences” from the “undeniable” gas attack.
Syria is not among the region’s major oil producers, and the civil war has sharply driven down its output. But traders are responding to the prospect of widening conflict, one analyst said.
“The market is concerned that the conflict would spread beyond the borders of Syria and ultimately impact crude oil supplies,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates.