The political turmoil in Syria is just one factor as oil prices reached a six-month high on August 27, and stability in the Middle East is being tested again.
Global oil prices are often affected by geo-political events, and fear of a disruption in supply and production can push up wholesale and retail prices temporarily.
Still, consumers may not see any direct or immediate effects, since Syria does not export oil, said Gary Lefort, an international business professor at American International College in Springfield, Mass. However, continued unrest may lead to a situation where other Arab countries such as Iran decide to cut back on oil production, creating a disruption in the Middle East.
The potential fallout from a disruption in oil prices is driving prices up, said Brian Youngberg, a senior energy analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis.
"Oil prices are up mostly in response to the threat of military actions in Syria and the potential fallout from that," he said. "However, prices are also responding to solid demand figures in both the U.S. and China. The outlook for global demand in general has improved. This is reflected in how the 12-month strip, a good proxy for market expectations over the next 12 months, is up 4% in the last week to $103. Syria is a key driver, but it is not the only driver."