Between the beginning of the uprising in March 2011 and the end of February this year the Syrian petroleum sector has sustained a loss in excess of S£73bn ($1.04bn, using an average exchange rate of $1=S£70 for the period in question) from the destruction of infrastructure and lost quantities of oil and gas from spillage, a source at the Syrian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has said, according to a local paper. The source added that the ministry has not been able to assess the damage in all producing areas because of lack of security.

The report further estimated the cumulative losses to state revenue from the decline in oil production because of western sanctions restricting exports and “terrorist attacks on the oil sector” at over S£570bn ($8.1bn). An earlier estimate given by former Syrian Minister of Petroleum Sa’id Hunaidi in October 2012 put the direct and indirect damage to the Syrian oil industry from the ongoing civil war at S£200bn ($2.9bn – MEES, 19 October 2012). (CONTINUED - 766 WORDS)