Regime Battles 72 Percent Decrease in Oil Production Since 2016

Reason for sharp decline includes the halting of operations in major fields in Shahar and Shaer, which has seen ongoing battles between government forces and ISIS militants

The state’s production of oil exhibited a decrease of 72 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period of the previous year, bringing the daily production average to 2,233 barrels.

According to a report in the loyalist Al-Watan newspaper on Monday, a source in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources said that the main reason for this decline was the Shahar and Shaer oil fields going out of service at the end of last year because of attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS).

“These two fields had together produced about 5,000 barrels per day, and after regaining control over the Shahar field, operations have begun to repair it for daily production to order to reach 6,000 barrels per day. The wells in the Shaer field are expected to be repaired and production restored there,” the source said.

Regarding the volume of crude gas produced throughout the first quarter of this year, the newspaper quoted the same source as saying it reached 773 million cubic meters, and the total clean gas at 688 million cubic meters, with 589 million cubic meters distributed to the Electricity Ministry and 80 million to the Petroleum Ministry, as well as 9.5 million cubic meters to the Industry Ministry.

Al-Watan reported that the total amount of light oil produced by the Assad regime and delivered to refineries during the first quarter of the year was 739,000 barrels, at an average rate of production of 8,000 barrels per day.

The volume of raw materials in the Homs and Baniyas refineries was 1,079 million metric tons, with 1,006 metric tons of crude oil being imported, while the sales of the refineries was 143 billion Syrian pounds. Meanwhile, the fuel company's sales were 197 billion Syrian pounds of petroleum products and household gas.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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