Western air strikes in Syria, which took place over the weekend, and an increase in US drilling have lowered global oil prices by more than 1%.

On 14 April, Western forces, including the US and its allies France and Britain, launched 105 missiles on Saturday, targeting three chemical weapons facilities in Syria.

The offensive was conducted in response to a suspected poison gas attack in Douma on 7 April.

Brent crude oil futures, the benchmark for oil prices, decreased by 80 cents, or 1.10%, to trade at $71.78 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell by 68 cents, or 1.01%, to reach $66.71, according to Reuters.

Following the air strikes, Asian Markets began cautiously, with the Western attack looking unlikely to escalate.

Energy consultancy Trifecta director Sukrit Vijayakar was quoted by the news agency as saying: “In the wake of the coordinated attack on Syria, oil prices are significantly lower but the impact appears to be compact and over.”

“In the wake of the coordinated attack on Syria, oil prices are significantly lower but the impact appears to be compact and over.”

Another fact impacting oil markets was a rise in US oil drilling activity, with US energy firms adding seven oil rigs drilling for new production in the week to 13 April, according to Baker Hughes.

With the addition of more rigs, the total rig count now stands at 815, which represents the highest since March 2015.

Despite the fall in prices, healthy demand and tension in the Middle East continue to support Brent, which stands at more than 16% from its 2018 low in February.

Middle East makes significant contribution to the global crude supply and markets are closely monitoring the situation in the region.

ANZ bank was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Investors continued to worry about the impact of a wider conflict in the Middle East.”