A recent rally in oil prices to multi-year highs is about much more than the deepening crisis in Syria, analysts told CNBC Thursday.
Crude futures soared to highs not seen since December 2014 on Wednesday, underpinned by greater geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East and heightened concerns over the prospect of imminent military action from Western powers. Ample crude supplies had pared some of the gains on Thursday, though crude futures remained in touching distance of levels not seen in more than three years.
"I think certainly some of what we are seeing is a little bit of geopolitical premium (but) I don't think it is just about Syria," Richard Mallinson, geopolitical analyst at Energy Aspects, told CNBC's "Street Signs" Thursday.
Instead, Mallinson argued crude futures had soared to multi-year highs on the back of two main price drivers — concern over the "wider ramifications" of heightened geopolitical tension in the Middle East and the looming prospect of the U.S. withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
Oil prices slipped away from 2018 highs on Thursday, with global benchmark Brent trading at $71.15 in early afternoon deals, down 0.8 percent, and WTI trading at $66.38, around 0.6 percent lower.