Oil and Gas
Iran’s crude oil exports to Syria for the second quarter of 2022 were relatively stable compared with the preceding quarter.
Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt signed on June 21 an agreement to import from Egypt 650 million cubic meters of natural gas per year through the Syrian and Jordanian territories.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has inaugurated a gas field in Homs with an estimated reserve of 9 billion cubic meters of gas – the first field to be inaugurated since 2009. So far, the government has begun extracting gas from one well in the field but plans to put two others into operation by the end of the year.
The government has increased unsubsidised oil prices, attributing the hike to “rising global oil prices” and to its effort “to narrow the wide gap with black market prices.” Damascus has also announced a new Iranian credit line for the purchase of oil supplies from Tehran.
Syria chaired the 108th meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries on May 18 and plans to host the Arab Energy Conference in 2027.
The following is an interview conducted by The Syria Report with John Bell, the managing director of Gulfsands Petroleum, a London-based oil and gas company that is the operator and joint-owner of Block 26 in northeast Syria. Among other things, this interview sheds light on sanctions, the potential production and revenues of Block 26, and illegal production by SDF and its affiliated oil companies. It also reveals how early recovery has become an increasingly prevalent framework through which companies and organisations re-frame their activities in Syria in an effort to be exempted from sanctions.
A Russian oil company, which has been linked to a sanctioned Russian oligarch, has recently opened an office in Damascus. The company has been embroiled in Lebanese-Syrian maritime disputes after the government granted it exclusive rights to explore and drill for oil and gas in a block in the Mediterranean sea that apparently overlaps with Lebanese maritime areas.
The government has reportedly increased the price of fuel oil, which is a product used mainly by manufacturers and large businesses, in a move that will likely contribute to further increases in consumer prices.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has provided data on the country’s production of crude oil, petroleum products and phosphate last year.
After over a month, the Kurdistan Regional Government has reopened both the Simalka-Peshabor border crossing, which represents the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria's main gateway for exports of Syrian crude and imports of humanitarian aid, and the informal Al-Walid border crossing, located 10 kilometres south of Simalka.
Iran’s crude oil exports to Syria have remained stable for the third quarter in a row, at around 6.9 million barrels for the last three months of 2021. On a year-on-year basis, 2021 witnessed a 42.2 percent surge in Iranian oil shipments to Syria.
The Ministry of Electricity announced that it has contracted an Iranian engineering firm to rehabilitate the Mhardeh Power Plant in Hama.
Iran's crude oil exports to Syria have remained stable for the third quarter of the year, while on a year-on-year basis, total crude oil exports from Iran have increased.
The government has recently increased the prices for gas oil and butane gas cylinders in the midst of a worsening economic crisis and severe oil and gas shortages.
The Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Bassam Tohmeh confirmed to local media that the Syrian section of the Arab Gas Pipeline (AGP), a trans-regional pipeline that passes through Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, is ready to transport Egyptian gas to Lebanon.
The Syrian government has reportedly reached a new agreement with the Syrian Democratic Forces to increase the number of trucks carrying crude oil from Northeast Syria to government-controlled areas, as well as those carrying refined fuel in the other direction to areas administered by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.
As Syria’s power crisis intensifies, the Syrian government is expanding its gas supplies to increase the production of power plants in an attempt to reduce electricity rationing hours, which have significantly increased over the past few years.
The government has announced additional new gas production as it seeks to meet its significant electricity production shortage.
Syria’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources restarted production last week from a gas well formerly developed by Croatian oil company INA Naftaplin as it seeks to boost gas supplies amid acute shortages.
The administration in charge of northeast Syria has announced the introduction of a new smart card system to manage the sale and distribution of subsidised oil products that are in short supply.