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Experts say Syria conflict to bring oil price hikes only with military escalation

September 05, 2013, 16:35 UTC+3

Impact of the situation in Syria on oil prices could not be compared to that of Libya

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MOSCOW, September 5 (Itar-Tass) - Troubles in Syria may result in higher oil prices only if military conflict escalates, oil experts concluded at roundtable discussions in Moscow on Thursday.

“Syria is not a key player on the world market, or in the region. Moreover, a wide package of sanctions has been imposed on Syria so we should not speak about sharp price hikes," said Vyacheslav Kulagin, director of the Centre of World Energy Market Studies at the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“However, we should keep in mind that it is quite possible if the war spreads to other countries - Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” he said. “If we speak only about reduced deliveries from Syria, the prices are likely to rise slightly, about $10-15 if a speculative factor is considered.”

Impact of the situation in Syria on oil prices could not be compared to that of Libya as they were absolutely different players on the oil market, Kulagin added.

Kulagin pointed to a potentially important role for Syria as a transit state. “In the future, Syria can compete with Turkey in this area,” he said.

Deputy Director of the Energy Strategy Institute Alexei Belogoryev said oil prices would not be more than $124 by the year end.

“There will be no rise in prices up to $150 per barrel if the Syrian conflict does not spill over to other countries, for example, Jordan and Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Professor of the World Energy Business Department of the Gubkin State University of Oil and Gas Dmitry Alexandrov shared his colleagues’ view, adding that “the start was given by French analysts forecasting growth to $150 per barrel if war spreads to other countries”.

“If it does not happen, oil prices will certainly rise, but not sharply,” he said. “Some other countries took advantage of the situation to increase their exports a little but it will be a temporary phenomenon. As far as Russia’s share in world exports is concerned, it is unlikely to be altered.

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