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Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis has claimed that terrorist attacks during the last two months have cost the country’s oil sector US$2 billion.
Khamis said the Syrian government was working hard to secure oil production and restore electricity to the minimum level, promising that by the middle of February, the populace will see marked improvement in terms of the availability of electricity.
The government also said it was working to restore production in its agricultural sector, as well as trade, and has begun updating legislation to that effect.
At the beginning of this year, Iran and Syria signed five memorandums of understanding (MoU), one of them related to construction of oil and gas storage facilities and terminals in Syria. The move is said to be an Iranian vow of support for Syrian political initiatives that will help to guarantee independent and territorial integrity.
In the meantime, Croatia is waiting on the sidelines to retake control over its abandoned oil and gas fields in war-torn Syria.
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INA has six oil and gas fields here, co-owned with Syrian state-run Hayan Petroleum Company. Prior to the Syrian conflict, INA controlled all of these fields and produced 350,000 barrels per day before it suspended operations after 2012. Until it suspended operations, INA was earning some 270 million euros a year in oil and gas profit, according to media reports.
At approximately same time last year, Syria claimed to have lost US$60 billion in the oil sector since the start of the crisis, according to its then-Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources.
The Islamic State’s modus operandi is to isolate and control energy facilities in order to generate operational revenues.
In mid-December, reports emerged that the Islamic State had taken control of the Jahar and Jazl oil fields, along with the al-Mohr company.
By Damir Kaletovic for Oilprice.com
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Damir Kaletovic is a veteran investigative journalist covering Europe and the Middle East, and a senior consultant for Divergente Research.