Speculation, Not Supply Disruptions, Driving Oil Price Hikes

The price of oil topped $92 a barrel, on concerns that rising tensions between Turkey and Syria might disrupt of crude oil supplies from the Middle East.

Turkey and Syria have been trading fire along the border since the beginning of the month. There are plenty of reasons that should worry people. But Barbara Shook, senior reporter-at-large for the Energy Intelligence Group, says the price of oil isn’t one of them.

“Turkey is not an oil exporter. Neither is Syria, or hasn’t been for quite some time, because they’ve been under sanctions.”

Shook says the only reason Turkish-Syrian tensions should drive up oil prices is speculation among traders.

“It’s called gaming the system. It’s called giving the traders something to make prices go up and down so that prices just move and they can make money on doing deals. [It] has nothing to do with supply and demand.”

Shook says there’s actually a surplus of oil on the market right now, thanks in part to the rise in U.S. domestic production.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...