Syrian oil and gas

Overview

  • Syria was once the Mediterranean’s leading oil and natural gas producer.
  • Syria is no longer able to export oil.
  • Government revenues from the energy sector have fallen significantly.
  • Prior to current conflict, Syria produced 383 000 bpd of oil and 316 million ft3/d of natural gas.
  • Preconflict, Syria’s oil and gas sector accounted for approximately ¼ of government revenues.
  • There are major challenges in supplying fuel oil to Syrian citizens.
  • If the fighting were to subside, it would take years for the Syrian domestic energy system to return to preconflict operating status.
  • The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources oversees the Syrian oil and natural gas sectors.

Oil

  • As of January 2015, Syria had estimated proved oil reserves of 2.5 billion bbls.
  • Most of the country’s crude oil is heavy and sour.
  • Sanctions placed on Syria, by the EU in particular have limited the number of markets available to import and process heavy Syrian crude.
  • Syrian oil production has essentially been at a stand still since 2014.
  • The country’s two main refineries are currently operating at less than half the normal capacity.
  • The nameplate capacity of the refineries is approximately 240 000 bpd.
  • Further sanctions are making importing petroleum products difficult so there is a shortage in the country.
  • Oil theft is a problem in the country, as Syrian officials are claiming that hundreds of barrels of crude oil are being stolen and shipped to neighbouring countries each day.
  • Due to sanctions enforced by the EU and USA, almost all IOCs and NOCS have ceased operations in Syria.
  • In 2010, Syria imported an average of 105 000 bpd of refined petroleum products and exported 36 000 bpd.
  • In 2010, Syria was exporting over 150 000 bpd of crude oil, but this figure is now effectively zero.
  • Iran continues to supply Syria with approximately 60 000 bpd of crude oil, but this is insufficient to meet demand.

Natural gas

  • At the start of this year, Syria reportedly had 8.5 trillion ft3 of proven natural gas reserves.
  • Commercial and residential customers use most of the country’s natural gas for power generation.
  • Natural gas is used in oil recovery efforts in the country.
  • In 2008, Syria became a net importer of natural gas.
  • In 2010, the last year of normal operating conditions, Syria produced 316 billion ft3 of dry natural gas.
  • Syria has never produced sufficient volumes of natural gas for export.

Edited from report by Claira Lloyd

Published on 01/07/2015


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