UPDATE 8-Brent hits 6-month high over $114 as West weighs strike on Syria
* West readying attack on Syria -sources
* Libya's oil production down by nearly 60 percent
* Weak U.S. data tempers view on Fed tapering
* Coming up: U.S. API weekly oil data; 2030 GMT
NEW YORK, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Brent crude jumped to a six-month high over $114 a barrel on Tuesday amid signs that Western powers were considering a military strike against Syria to punish it for a chemical weapons attack.
Both Brent and U.S. crude gained upwards of $3 a barrel as tensions climbed in Syria. Western intervention there could lead to a wider conflict in the volatile Middle East, which pumps a third of the world's oil.
Western officials told the Syrian opposition to expect a strike against President Bashar al-Assad's forces within days, according to sources who attended a meeting between envoys and the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul.
U.S. President Barack Obama has not made a decision to order military strikes against the Syrian government in response to last week's alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus, a senior administration official said, echoing White House comments the previous day.
Oil market watchers pointed to signs that Washington and its allies are edging toward a limited use of force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's loyalists.
"As the rhetoric ratchets up around Syria the geopolitical risk premium in the price of oil is once again widening," Dominick Chirichella of Energy Management Institute said.
Brent crude rose $3.42 to $114.15 a barrel by 11:29 a.m. EDT (1529 GMT). During the session it hit a six-month high of $114.17, and was on track for its biggest daily percentage gain since early May.
U.S. crude rose rose $3.08 to $109.00 a barrel, after falling 0.5 percent the previous day when data showed U.S. durable goods orders had dropped the most in nearly a year.
On Monday, the United States put Assad on notice that it believes he was responsible for using chemical weapons against civilians last week in what Secretary of State John Kerry called a "moral obscenity".
"There's a lot of air in this market, and it's now hungry for the next headline," said Stephen Schork, the editor of The Schork Report in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
"So if we see more belligerent rhetoric, like Kerry's 'moral obscenity,' we're due for another leg up and you can't really sell."
Another factor supporting oil prices was declining Libyan production. It is off nearly 60 percent to 665,000 barrels per day (bpd) due to a month-long disruption by armed security guards, who shut down main export terminals, its oil minister said.
In the United States, weak data on home sales and durable goods orders tempered views that the Federal Reserve could start paring its economic stimulus program as soon as September.
The American Petroleum Institute is scheduled to release its weekly oil stocks data on Tuesday afternoon.
A preliminary Reuters poll showed that U.S. commercial crude stockpiles were expected to have fallen last week as refinery utilization rates were at high levels, and gasoline inventories likely dipped primarily due to seasonal factors.
(Additional reporting by David Sheppard in New York, Peg Mackey in London, Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by David Gregorio)