LONDON: Brent crude oil headed for its highest close in a month on Thursday, lifted by escalating tension between Syria and Turkey, maintenance in the North Sea and a supply crunch in oil products.

November Brent crude rose 69 cents to $115.02 a barrel by 0856 GMT after a volatile session on Wednesday that saw the contract up to $115.59, its highest since Sept. 17, before settling down slightly.

US crude edged up 48 cents to $91.73 after dropping more than 1 percent in the previous session. A larger-than-expected rise in US crude inventories weighed on prices.

Turkey scrambled fighters and briefly detained a Syrian passenger plane on Wednesday, suspecting it of carrying military equipment from Moscow, while Turkey’s military chief warned of a more forceful response if shelling continued to spill over the border.

“The Syrian situation is heating up and there are fears about Turkey, a NATO member, retaliating and contagion in the region,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, analyst at SEB in Oslo.

Firmer refining margins and steep backwardation in the gasoil market, where prices are higher for prompt delivery than for later dates, pointed to firm demand going into the northern hemisphere winter.

“There will be restocking ahead of the winter, so this is…

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Oil pushes higher on Syria tension

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