NEW YORK, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices hiked on Tuesday as the Turkey-Syria tension escalated, threatening oil production in the Middle East.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) said Tuesday it had drawn up plans to defend Turkey against Syria's attack, expressing willingness to offer military assistance to Turkey if necessary. The escalated tension between the two countries added uncertainties to oil supplies in the region.
Besides, the export delay from the North Sea field caused by undergoing maintenance worsened supply worries. The 14 out of 16 Forties cargoes planned for export this month have been delayed by three to 15 days.
Ali al-Naimi, oil minister of the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, tried to ease supply concerns by saying on Tuesday that the country now pumps around 10 million barrels a day and its production capacity of more than 12 million barrels can meet any world demand.
The supply worries countered concerns over global economic slowdown and pushed up oil prices. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its growth forecasts for the global economy to 3.3 percent for 2012 and 3.6 percent for 2013 from the July projections of 3.5 percent and 3.9 percent respectively.
IMF said the world economic recovery has suffered new setbacks, and uncertainty weighed heavily on the outlook, calling for U.S. and European policymakers to accelerate efforts to tackle challenges.
Light, sweet crude for November delivery rose 3.06 dollars, or 3.43 percent to settle at 92.39 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude for November delivery gained sharply by 2.68 dollars, or 2.40 percent, to close at 114.50 dollars a barrel.