Oil prices decline on Monday as markets cautiously kicked off the week following western missile attacks in Syria over the weekend, simultaneous with the continuous rise of American drilling for new production.
On Saturday, United States, Britain and France fired 105 missiles aiming at three suspected chemical weapon facilities in Syria on Saturday, in retaliation for what is said to be a poison gas attack in Douma on April 7.
Brent crude oil futures went down by 73 cents or 1 percent from their last finish, at $71.85 per barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were currently at $66.82 per barrel, down 57 cents or 0.9 percent.
Asian markets were said to have began trading with caution following the weekend strikes, relieved that the move seemed unlikely to develop.
“In the wake of the coordinated attack on Syria, oil prices are significantly lower, (but) the impact appears to be compact and over,” said director of energy consultancy firm Trifecta, Sukrit Vijayakar.
Also, global oil markets were pressured on increased US drilling activity. American energy companies opened 7 oil rigs drilling for additional production in the week to April 13, acquiring a total of 815, the highest since March 2015 according to energy services firm Baker Hughes on Friday.
Nevertheless, Brent still rendered more than 16 percent increase from its 2018 low in February, given the healthy demand and the continuing Middle East tension.
Syria may not be an important oil-producing country, but the wider Middle East is the world’s major crude exporter and conflict in the region worries oil markets.