Rising tensions in war-torn Syria have stirred concerns over oil supply security in the Middle East, sending oil prices sharply higher over the past few days, including 6 and 7 percent gains in Brent and U.S. crude prices, respectively.
To some professional traders in the United States, though, the threat of Western countries entering the Syrian conflict is of grave concern. Syria doesn't export much oil, but the Middle East provides one-third of the world's oil, so a military conflict could curb production.
"There are pipelines that do go through Syria. They're in the heart of the Middle East and that's where most of the world's crude comes from, so traders have a fear that this [conflict] is going to spread outside," said Anthony Grisanti, a commodities trader and founder of GRZ Energy from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Though the fighting between the Syrian rebels and President Bashar Assad's regime has been going on for two years, Grisanti noted the situation is highly fluid, making the oil trade highly volatile.