Oil Prices Rise After Syrian Jet Forced to Land

Jets from Turkey that intercepted a Syrian passenger jet caused a surge in oil prices.

Scott Krane ,

Syrian passenger plane after being forced to
Syrian passenger plane after being forced to
AFP/Adem Altan

Oil prices in the West climbed on Thursday as heightening tensions between Turkey and Syria caused anxiety about the reliability of Middle East crude.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 48 cents to $91.73 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the contract plummeted from $1.14 to finish at $91.25 per barrel on the Nymex.

Brent crude, which is utilized for gauging rates on international varieties of oil, climbed 86 cents to $115.19 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

On Wednesday, jets from Turkey forced a Syrian passenger plane bound for Damascus which was carrying some 30 people, to land at the Ankara airport on suspicion it was carrying weapons or other military equipment to support the Bashar Assad in its war against the Free Syrian Army. None of the passengers aboard were arrested. There were conflicting reports regarding the presence of weapons on board.

Meanwhile, analysts worry that the civil war in Syria could grow into a wider regional conflict that could threaten oil supplies from various Middle East producers who make up roughly one-third of global oil production.

After the incident, Russian officials accused Turkey of endangering the life of Russian civillians. Turkish authorities had thought that the Damascus-bound plane was carrying Russian military equipment being transfered to Assad regime fighters in Damascus.