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Oil prices up as Turkey-Syria tension rises

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[October 16, 2012]  (AP) -- Oil prices rose Thursday as tension between Turkey and Syria raised concerns that crude oil supplies from the Middle East could be disrupted.

Benchmark oil gained 82 cents to close at $92.07 per barrel. It has risen 2.4 percent so far this week.

On Thursday, Turkey claimed that it forced a Syrian passenger plane to land because it was carrying banned cargo from Russia. Syria called the incident piracy. The two countries have traded artillery fire over Syria's northern border throughout the past week.

Also Thursday, the U.S. government said crude inventories increased 1.7 million barrels during the past week, slightly more than analysts expected.

AAA said gasoline prices at the pump were unchanged from Wednesday at $3.813 for a gallon of regular.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, rose $1.50 to $114.68 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

In other energy trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

  • Heating oil rose 4 cents to $3.26 per gallon.

  • Wholesale gasoline fell less than a penny to $2.956 per gallon. The government said gasoline inventories fell a half-million barrels and are near the low end of the average range.

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  • Natural gas added 13 cents to $3.60 per 1,000 cubic feet. The Energy Information Administration said natural gas supplies grew by 72 billion cubic square feet during the week that ended Oct. 5. Analysts had expected 76 billion to 80 billion cubic feet, according to Platts.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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