Fears of Middle Eastern Unrest Pushed Current Oil Prices Higher

Current crude oil prices increased after rising tensions in Lebanon led to increasing worries of wider Middle Eastern unrest.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the crude price per barrel of the U.S. benchmark for delivery in November was 47 cents higher to $90.52 during midday-Bangkok time. The contract shed $2.05 cents to finish the past trading week at $90.05 a barrel.

On London’s ICE Futures Exchange, the current crude price of Brent is $110.78, a 64-cent gain.

Fresh worries of Middle Eastern instability emerged last week with the intelligence chief of Lebanon, Brig. Gen Wissam al-Hassan’s assasination in a huge vehicle bombing. The chief was one of Syria’s more powerful adversaries. It should be noted that Syria has exercised military and political power in Lebanon for many decades.

Over the summer, al-Hassan led an investigation that resulted in the arrest of Michel Samaha, the previous Information Minister of Syria and one of its most faithful allies in Lebanon. The Lebanese chief also launched an investigation that implicated Hezbollah and Syria in the killing of the previous Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, in 2005.

Syria itself has been surrounded with violence since a revolt against President Bashar Assad started during the “Arab Spring” crisis back in February of 2011.

Energy analyst Victor Shum of Singapore’s Purvin & Gertz consultancy thinks that some security problems have sparked some additional purchasing of crude futures.

It seems like the tensions in Syria is dispersing to other nations. There were conflicts between Syria and Turkey and it now appears like Syria may be attempting to draw other regional countries to the conflict, said Shum.