Oil, Gas & Mining

Disruptions to oil shipments from Iran, including the recent Suez Canal blockage, have intensified fuel shortages in Syria, paralysing the country’s public transportation system and stoking public anger.
Prominent UK-based Syrian investor Ayman Asfari has sold his share in Gulfsands Petroleum to an investment firm owned by a Russian businessman, which now holds a controlling stake in the company.
Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad has ratified a USD 13-million production sharing agreement (PSA) contract with Russian company Kapital LLC, further consolidating the dominance of Russian firms in the country’s oil and gas sector.
Afek Oil & Gas, an Israeli oil company, has ceased exploration operations in the occupied Golan Heights after finding no light oil resources suitable for commercial development.
Updated on March 26,2021: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad ratified a USD 22-million production-sharing agreement (PSA) contract with Russian company Stroytransgaz Engineering (STG-Engineering) in December, according to documents reviewed by The Syria Report.
Syria’s oil and gas sector has suffered USD 91.5 billion in losses since the start of the conflict in 2011, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources said.
The Syrian government said this week it was reducing the quantities of subsidised petrol that can be purchased through the country’s smartcard system. A reduction of subsidised gas oil (mazout), which is used widely for heating in winter, was also confirmed.
The Syrian government has hiked the price of petrol for the third time within a year and the second time in less than six months. Although the increase is more modest than previous price hikes, deteriorating living conditions worsened by rapidly rising prices have already stoked tensions across the country.
Syria imported oil products worth USD 820 million between July and December last year, the prime minister said, giving a rare insight into a vital sector that is often defined by a lack of transparency.
Syrians once again find themselves facing long queues at petrol stations as shortages of oil products in the country resume, bringing a few weeks of relative stability to an end. 
More details have emerged about an American company which appears to have won exclusive rights to develop and market oil produced in northeastern Syria after obtaining a sanctions waiver from the U.S. government.
Two new fuel trading companies have emerged in Syria’s northwest, both of which are believed to be affiliated with Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), highlighting the hardline Islamist group’s control over the sector.
Iran continued to export crude oil to Syria last month, although the rate of deliveries fell after rising notably in October, according to a shipping monitoring website.
Pro-regime media outlets have published new details of a Serbian-Omani company’s long-term contract to extract phosphates in Syria, a few weeks after the oil minister revealed the controversial deal.
The Syrian government has awarded tens of millions of dollars worth of contracts to companies to supply equipment and spare parts for its two major oil refineries, including a major contract to a company owned by the Katerji family.


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