Gas price impact after attack on Syria

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
Oil prices surge as U.S. launches missile attack on Syria

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Oil prices were trading sharply higher after the United States launched a missile attack on Syria Thursday night. Oil rose in usually quiet after-hours trade by a dollar per barrel to $52.70 after news spread of roughly 50 Tomahawk missiles being launched from two U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea.

"As we've seen in the past, oil prices hate turmoil,” Patrick DeHaan, a GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst said on Thursday. “Tonight's surge in prices comes as questions remain about military action in Syria moving future. Geopolitical tensions have surged tonight between some of the world's largest oil producers, and the market, with concern abounding, will likely send oil prices higher. It is too early to know how severe or how long the impact to oil prices may be."

RELATED: Syria decries 'aggression' as US launches cruise missiles

Thursday’s missile strike in Syria brings forth risk and uncertainty on a global scale, Dan McTeague, senior Canadian petroleum analyst said. Oil's rise is based on geopolitical circumstance and as a benchmark commodity and hedge, it is likely its value will rise in proportion to developments, he said.

"While there is not yet an imminent major impact to North American gasoline prices, the situation could rapidly change, we're monitoring it and will keep consumers informed," DeHaan added.

Here is what Glen Duerr, Cedarville University assistant professor of international studies said on the impact of the attack on gas prices:

“It depends on the next 48 to 72 hours in terms of a Russia response. If it’s simply a limited attack, I think it will have a limited response on the stock market and on oil prices. A lot depends on major oil supplies in the region. Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia are all very, very close in proximity to Syria so it depends on what Russia’s doing. Russia’s also a major supplier of oil, but in general if there’s no major response, if there are diplomatic back channels that are open between the U.S. and Russia that downplay this issue than we’ll see minimal impact, especially in the next week or so.

“I would image a small spike, but we’ve also seen a recent increase as well, about 25 cents (per gallon) in the Miami Valley.”

Earlier this week, GasBuddy reported average retail gasoline prices in Dayton rose 18.4 cents per gallon averaging $2.29 per gallon on Sunday.

About the Authors