This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Spillover From Syrian Crisis Raises Prices at Pump, for Heating Oil

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wall Street is abuzz over the looming military conflict with Syria, and the conversation should spill over to Main Street as oil and gas prices start climbing over the geopolitical turmoil.

One major investment banking firm says oil prices could rise to $150 per barrel before the conflict is over, a figure that would likely drive prices at the pump much, much higher.

Certainly, President Barack Obama has a crisis on his hands with accusations that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad is responsible for a chemicals attack last month on a Damascus suburb that killed more than 1,429 civilians.

"Our intelligence shows the Assad regime and its forces preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of Damascus and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place," said Obama in a statement last week. "And all of this corroborates what the world can plainly see -- hospitals overflowing with victims; terrible images of the dead. All told, well over 1,000 people were murdered. Several hundred of them were children -- young girls and boys gassed to death by their own government."

Calling the attack an "outrage," Obama is calling on Congress to give him authority to conduct military operations against the Assad regime. That could put U.S troops in harm's way and set the stage for significantly higher gasoline prices for American consumers.

The average price for a gallon of gas is $3.54, according to AAA. Its federal relations manager, Avery Ash, says prices are already heading upward.

"While retail gasoline prices remain well below year-ago levels, tensions, unrest and violence in the Middle East and North Africa have kept global oil prices higher than recent summers," Ash says. "West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices have now settled above $100 per barrel each day since the beginning of July due in large part to these continued reports of violence in Egypt, Libya and Syria."

How high can gasoline prices go? Plenty high, experts say.

The investment banking firm Societe Generale estimates oil prices could rise to $150 per barrel (it's trading at $107 now), depending on the severity of the military conflict with Syria.

SocGen chief oil analyst Michael Wittner, in a research note, says Syria isn't the problem -- it's the regional spillover effect.

"Our big worry is Iraq," he writes. "The Sunni vs. Shiite conflict in Syria has a direct parallel in Iraq, and the violence in Iraq has reached levels not seen since 2008. Iraq's northern pipeline carrying Kirkuk grade crude to Ceyhan, Turkey, has been repeatedly attacked in the last three months and has reduced exports from 350,000 barrels a day to less than 200,000."

Wittner tells CNBC that the odds of oil prices reaching $150 per barrel is about 20% right now, but gas prices should rise as the Mideast prices escalates no matter what.

That would make gasoline and heating oil more expensive heading into the colder months and holiday travel season.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,001.22 -38.27 -0.22%
S&P 500 1,988.40 -3.97 -0.20%
NASDAQ 4,538.5510 +6.4470 0.14%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs