Syria’s oil production (under government control) has hit a low of 18,000-19,000 b/d of light crude and condensate because of the ongoing uprising in the country, Syrian oil minister Sulaiman ‘Abbas, told the Syrian daily Tishreen of 25 September. This production is coming from fields in the south central area of the country operated by two companies, Hayan Petroleum Company and Elba Petroleum Company. Hayan groups Syria’s state General Petroleum Corporation with Croatia’s INA, whilst Elba groups GPC and Canada’s Suncor. Current production comes despite both foreign firms having declared force majeure and pulled out of Syria (MEES, 14 September 2012).

The minister attributed the sharp drop in production (from an average of 380,000 b/d before the start of the uprising in March 2011) to damage caused by armed rebels attacks on oilfields, pipelines and other facilities in al-Hasaka, Dair al-Zour and al-Raqqa at the end of 2012. Mr ‘Abbas noted however that some repair work on installations in these areas had been carried out to try to restart production. But these efforts have failed to restart operations and according to the minister, normal oil production could resume only after security at the oil facilities is restored. (CONTINUED - 394 WORDS)