Syrian Oil Minister, Bassam Touma, confirmed that Syria has not yet completed the exploration of its territory. He pointed out that there are promising areas where oil is present, but the equipment necessary to complete these operations are advanced technologies prohibited from Syria.
“The Syrian land has not yet completed its exploration, and there are already promising areas that can contain oil and gas, such as the area west of the Euphrates River; the current fields located in the Jazira region have been explored since 1968,” Tohme said. He noted that “at that time the international companies operating in the country were inclined to easy exploration and rapid production, for example, the cost of a barrel of oil in eastern Syria reached less than two dollars per barrel,” according to Al-Mayadeen TV.
He added: “The areas where oil is likely to be present need advanced technologies to complete exploration and exploration operations, which are prohibited for Syria to benefit from in light of Western sanctions. This includes a wide range of oil fields, starting with the export of oil, then the supply of oil derivatives, new technology, direct and indirect investments, institutions working in the field of oil, and everyone who deals in the Syrian oil sector, in addition to banking sanctions and others.”
As an example, the minister referred to oil exploration operations deep in Syrian waters, with seismic surveys, saying: “The depth of Syrian waters reaches about two thousand meters, as is the case in some countries such as Venezuela, Canada, and the Arabian Gulf ranges between 40-50 meters. Therefore, few international companies can offer technologies that allow an accurate survey of these areas and carry out exploration operations even when trying to produce.”
“Under Western sanctions, it becomes difficult to get all of this, and even when we can provide some spare parts and equipment, we get technical support or the help of experts, which is not available,” Touma said.
The oil minister pointed out that despite the sanctions imposed on Syria, important projects have been completed, such as the project of a gas plant south of the central region for $88 million. It would increase gas production by about half a million cubic meters per day and would become the best consumption in power plants. There are other projects such as Tueinan and al-Thawra–a very hopeful area– and Russians have started drilling in it.
In August, the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources announced that the amount of oil production in the first half of 2022 amounted to about 14.5 million barrels with an average daily production of 80.3 thousand barrels, of which 14.2 thousand barrels per day are delivered to refineries, while the U.S. forces controlling several oil fields in eastern Syria, up to 66 thousand barrels per day are out of Syrian territory.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.