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The second-largest oil field in Syria, the Tanak field in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, is operational again, nearly a year after U.S.-backed predominantly Kurdish forces recaptured the field from ISIS, Syrian news outlet Zaman Al Wasl reported on Friday, showing satellite images of the field.
The Tanak field, which hosts around 150 wells and the capacity to produce up to 40,000 bpd, was captured from the Islamist militants by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in November last year, following fierce clashes with Islamic State militants on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river in Syria’s Deir Ezzor governorate, which is the country’s richest oil province.
SDF now controls many of the most productive oil fields in Syria east of the Euphrates river, including the country’s largest oil field, al-Omar. The other fields under SDF’s control are now Tanak, Ward, Kewari, Jafra, Jarnuf, Azrak, Kahar, Afra, Sueytat, and Galban, the Homs-based Syrian news outlet reports.
Less than a month before recapturing the Tanak oil field, SDF had wrested control over the al-Omar oil field in eastern Syria from the Islamic State. Al-Omar is Syria’s largest oil field, producing around 30,000 bpd before the civil war. After 2011, however, Al-Omar fell into the hands of Islamic State, which was at one point making US$5.1 million in monthly oil sale revenues on the black market.
The U.S-led coalition fighting Islamic State killed the leader of the militants responsible for its oil and gas smuggling operations, officials at the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said in the middle of June. Abu Khattab al-Iraqi, the leader of ISIS’s oil network who managed revenue generation through the illicit sale of oil and gas, was killed in Syria’s Middle Euphrates River Valley on May 26, together with three other ISIS members affiliated with its oil and gas operations.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.