Syria oil production drops dramatically
CAIRO - Reuters
Smoke rises over Syria’s Homs city on Dec 8 after an attack on a vital refinery. The sanctions on the has pushed oil production down by 30 to 35 percent, officials say. REUTERS photoSmoke rises over Syria’s Homs city on Dec 8 after an attack on a vital refinery. The sanctions on the has pushed oil production down by 30 to 35 percent, officials say.
Syria’s oil production has fallen by about 30 to 35 percent as a result of sanctions imposed on the country over its nine-month crackdown on anti-government protests, according to Oil Minister Sufian Alao.
The European Union has stepped up its sanctions against Syria’s oil industry, including blacklisting state-owned firms. The Arab League has also imposed sanctions on financial and other dealings with Syria.
“We have reduced our production by 30 to 35 percent until we resume exports,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an Arab oil ministers meeting in Cairo Dec. 24. He said the current output was about 260,000 barrels per day (bpd).
“These are dark sanctions that no other country has been through before. They stopped buying Syrian oil and we are facing difficulties in exports and this has a negative effect on our people,” he said.
Alao said Syria’s production capacity was about 380,000 bpd and its refining capacity was 250,000 to 255,000 bpd.
Syria imports gasoline, LPG
“We reduced our crude oil production and now we are importing products such as gasoline and liquid petroleum gas, but we are facing problems in dealing with banks,” he said.
He said European firms had faced bans on operating in Syria, prompting companies such as Shell and Total to stop work there. “Our local companies are capable of continuing.”
In accordance with EU sanctions, Royal Dutch Shell and Total both said this month they would cease production activities in Syria.