(EnergyAsia, August 29 2013, Thursday) — Report from the September 2013 issue of EnergyAsia Report.

US WTI and North Sea Brent crude oil prices continued to edge higher on fears that the US and its allies could make good on their threats to launch a military attack on Syria.

In New York, US WTI ended Wednesday trade at US$110.10 a barrel after hitting a 33-month high of US$112.15, while Brent climbed to a six-month peak of US$117.34 a barrel.

The West is threatening action against the regime of President Assad following reports of a deadly chemical attack on civilians in Syria last week. While US and British officials insist the evidence against the Syrian government is real and “undeniable”, doubts have begun to creep in as to who might have launched the attack.
Amid growing opposition from within the US and Europe as well as from Russia and China, war may yet be avoided, and oil prices could face a downward correction.

Analysts from French bank SocGen said oil prices could surge to US$150 a barrel within a week of an all-out war.

Earlier, the world’s three leading energy agencies disagreed over what lies ahead in view of the shifting global economic picture. Last month, the IEA, EIA and OPEC had presented a rare bullish consensus calling for stronger oil demand growth over the next two years.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has reduced its global oil demand forecasts for the next two years in complete disagreement with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which has raised its growth predictions for both years. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has taken the middle road by raising this year’s forecast growth and reducing next year’s.