Production from government-controlled areas of Syria has fallen to just 14,000 b/d, from 385,000 b/d at the beginning of the crisis in 2011, Syria’s Oil Minister Sulaiman al-‘Abbas says, with the oil ministry “depending on the credit line from Iran” to finance the necessary imports of crude and products. The Central Bank of Syria last year said Iran had agreed to extend $7bn in concessionary aid to Syria, of which at least $3bn was earmarked to finance imports of crude and products (MEES, 31 May 2013).

The collapse in government-controlled crude output suggests Damascus has very limited control of oil fields, especially in the northeast of the country. Their al-Qa’ida affiliates Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Jabhat al-Nusra, other Sunni militias as well as Kurdish militias compete for control of oilfields. (CONTINUED - 770 WORDS)