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Syrian Kurds Ink Oil Deal with U.S. Company

The autonomous government of northeast Syria has signed a deal for the marketing of crude oil with a U.S. company, Al-Monitor reports, citing unnamed sources in the know. What’s more, the report says the deal had the blessing of Washington.

Most of Syria’s oil is in the northeast of the country, which is under the control of a Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of opposition formation Syrian Democratic Forces, which has enjoyed U.S. support through the prolonged conflict.

A representative of the Syrian Democratic Council to the United States confirmed that the deal was made by Delta Crescent Energy LLC, Al-Monitor said, although she did not provide any further details.

The unnamed sources also told Al-Monitor that the United States was going to supply two modular refineries to northeastern Syria, which will satisfy a fifth of the oil-rich region’s needs. At the moment, most of the oil still produced in Syria—around 60,000 bpd—is refined in makeshift facilities. Before the war, the country produced 380,000 bpd.

Separately, Kurdistan 24 reported that Senator Lindsay Graham had revealed a deal between the Syrian Democratic Forces and a U.S. oil company to modernize the oil fields under the control of the opposition group. According to the Al-Monitor sources, this is the same deal closed with Delta Crescent Energy.

“I talked to General Mazloum yesterday, with the SDF,” Graham told Foreign Secretary Pompeo during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee session. “Apparently, they’ve signed a deal with an American oil company to modernize the oil fields in northeastern Syria. Are you supportive of that?”

In response, Pompeo noted that “The deal took a little longer than we had hoped,” revealing that the State Department was involved in closing the deal. He added, “we are now in implementation, and it can be very powerful.” 

The deal comes on the heels of new sanctions announced by Washington against the Syrian government, under the so-called Caesar Act.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Richard Cheeseman on August 02 2020 said:
    This is a clear instance of the war crime of pillage.

    That oil legally belongs to the Syrian government and the Syrian people. The Delta Crescent Energy management are openly committing a serious war crime and should be jailed and the company should be forced to compensate the owners of the oil they're stealing.
  • Mamdouh Salameh on July 31 2020 said:
    The Syrian Kurds should realize that the United States will soon sell them short again. It has done so in 2019 so it is better for them to reach an accommodation with the legitimate Syrian government rather than behave like a puppet of the United States. The deal they reached with an American company to sell Syria’s stolen crude oil is illegal under international law.

    When a retired US general Barry McCaffrey accuses President Trump of turning US troops occupying Syrian territory into oil pirates, it speaks volumes of the immorality of US foreign policy.

    Sooner or later US troops will be ejected from both Syria and Iraq.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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