Anadolu Agency quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Fellow Faysal Itani on how EU sanctions and damage from the ongoing civil war has brought Syria’s oil sector to near ruin:
At the beginning of the war, output was at 400 thousand barrels a day and has fallen to 10 thousand this year, says Faysal Itani from the Washington-based think tank Atlantic Council. This represents a decline of 97 percent. Revenue lost is estimated to be around $23 billion, Syrian oil ministry announced ten days ago.
Most of the oil fields are known to be controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant-led rebels. They seized some of the largest oil fields close to the Iraqi border in recent months — the oilfields of Deir al-Zor, the al Shaer field in Homs and al Omar.
There is the emergence of a massive informal economy in both regime and rebel areas says Itani.
“Warlordism is rampant, and revenues in this case go to the black market” he adds.
He emphasized that most dramatic effect is the physical damage to infrastructure, in terms of both extraction and delivery as most of all the fields captured by militias.
“Revenue from oil assets captured in Deir al-Zor, for example, flow to rebel groups, their tribal allies, and criminal groups — even though some of these groups sell oil to regime-held areas,” he says.