MONTRÉAL - Le conflit syrien a déjà des répercussions importantes sur le prix du pétrole, mais si la situation s’envenimait et s’étendait aux pays alliés de la Syrie, le prix de l’essence à la pompe pourrait grimper de 40 à 50 pour cent.

C’est ce que croient plusieurs experts, dont le maître d’enseignement de l’École des Hautes études commerciales de Montréal, Germain Belzile.

Il rappelle que la Guerre du Golfe impliquant l’Irak de Saddam Hussein au début des années 1990 avait provoqué une flambée du prix du pétrole, qui avait augmenté de moitié, avant de rebaisser lorsque le conflit s’était terminé.

M. Belzile estime que la situation explosive actuelle en Syrie comporte des risques similaires. Si les pays amis de la Syrie, comme la Russie et l’Iran, se lançaient dans des représailles pour dénoncer une possible intervention militaire américaine, le pétrole pourrait être ciblé.

L’Iran, grand producteur, pourrait notamment réduire ses exportations et aussi bloquer le pétrole qui passe pas le Détroit d’Ormuz, ce qui rendrait les approvisionnements vers l’Occident plus compliqués. La Russie produit par ailleurs 12 pour cent de la consommation mondiale.

Selon Jean-Thomas Bernard, professeur en économie à l’Université d’Ottawa, les marchés sont préoccupés par les événements qui se déroulent en Syrie. Il note que la Syrie n’est pas un grand producteur de pétrole, mais que le conflit pourrait avoir de graves répercussions s’il débordait sur les pays voisins.

Il souligne que l’incertitude actuelle est déjà suffisante pour faire monter le prix du pétrole. Une intervention militaire des États-Unis en Syrie, ajoute-t-il, provoquerait inévitablement une pression à la hausse sur le coût de l'essence.

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  • Tawfiq Hassan

    Syrian rebel fighter, Tawfiq Hassan, 23, a former butcher, poses for a picture, after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Abu Hammam

    Syrian rebel fighter, Abu Hammam, 23, a former member of the Syrian security forces, poses for a picture, after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Ali Alnajjr

    Syrian rebel fighter, Ali Alnajjr, 20, a former school student, poses for a picture, after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Saqir Abu Zahid

    Syrian rebel fighter, who goes by the name Saqir Abu Zahid, 22, a former University student, poses for a picture after returning from fighting Syrian forces in Aleppo at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Mohammed Yaseen

    Syrian rebel fighter, Mohammed Yaseen, 24, a former construction worker, poses for a picture, after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Mustafa Abu Shaheen

    Syrian rebel fighter, Mustafa Abu Shaheen, 19, a former construction worker, poses for a picture after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Mohammed Sami

    Syrian rebel fighter, Mohammed Sami, 22, a barber, poses for a picture after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Ahmed Al-Saleh

    Syrian rebel fighter, Ahmed Al-Saleh, 22, a former policeman, poses for a picture after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Wisam Al-Saleh

    Syrian rebel fighter, Wisam Al-Saleh, 21, poses for a picture, after returning back from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Mohammed Abu Razouk

    Syrian rebel fighter, Mohammed Abu Razouk, 27, poses for a picture, after returning back from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Badir Farouh

    Syrian rebel fighter, Badir Farouh, 17, poses for a picture after returning from fighting against Syrian forces in Aleppo at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Badir Farouh

    Syrian rebel fighter, Badir Farouh, 17, poses for a picture after returning from fighting against Syrian forces in Aleppo at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

  • Amir Hajji

    Syrian rebel fighter, Amir Hajji, 20, poses for a picture, after returning back from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)