Uncertainty over rising tensions in Syria has driven oil prices to fresh highs in recent weeks, but analysts say the bullish sentiment is expected to stay regardless of whether or not the scenario escalates into a full blown war.
"Even if there is a war in Syria or no war in Syria I think oil will remain strong," said Sean Hyman, editor of Moneynews at the monthly newsletter Ultimate Wealth Report. "WTI could go from $108 to $117 [a barrel] and Brent could go from $115 to $125 [a barrel] very easily."
"You've got strikes of oil workers in Libya...you've got Egypt really still in limbo with their government...and you've also still got what could turn into a war in Syria. I believe you've got a big case for oil and oil stocks to go higher," he said.
Syria tensions were renewed this week after key U.S. Congressional leaders voiced their support for President Barack Obama's call for a military strike against Syria to retaliate against its use of chemical weapons against civilians, making the likelihood of action look more imminent.
Libya's oil production has fallen to about one sixth of its pre-2011 civil war levels in recent weeks due to a month-long disruption by armed security guards who shut the country's main export ports. Meanwhile an attack on a ship passing through the Suez Canal over the weekend has flagged continued geopolitical risk in Egypt.
Han Pin Hsi, global head of commodities at Standard Chartered, said if Syria tensions ease, he doubted Brent would spike as high as $125 a barrel. It would likely trade in a $105-$115 a barrel range, while WTI would trade at a $5 discount to Brent, he said.