Report – “Syria’s energy sector is in turmoil because of the ongoing hostilities between government and opposition forces. Syria’s oil and natural gas production has declined dramatically since March 2011 because of the conflict and because of the subsequent imposition of sanctions by the United States and European Union in particular. Syria’s energy sector is unlikely to recover in the near term. Since the onset of protests in March 2011, Syria’s energy sector has encountered a number of challenges. Damage to energy infrastructure—including oil and natural gas pipelines and electricity transmission networks—and the effects of Western-led sanctions have combined to hinder the exploration, development, production, and transport of the country’s energy resources. While Syria is not a major player in the global energy system, the ongoing conflict will continue to have consequences in domestic and regional energy markets. Syria, previously the eastern Mediterranean’s leading oil and natural gas producer, has seen its production fall to just a fraction of pre-conflict levels. Syria is no longer able to export oil, and as a result, government revenues from the energy sector have fallen significantly. Prior to the current conflict, Syria’s oil sector accounted for approximately one fourth of government revenues. As of January 2014, Syrian officials reported the overall economic losses from the conflict reached more than $20 billion. Of that total, estimates from mid-2013 indicate that the losses from the hydrocarbons sector have topped $12 billion, from both direct causes (damage to infrastructure, spillage, and theft) and indirect causes (lost exports). According to the Syrian government, damage to the country’s energy infrastructure and spilled or stolen oil and natural gas cost the country approximately $1 billion through the end of July 2013. The loss of Syria’s oil exports, limited by sanctions by the United States, European Union (EU), and others, accounted for much of the remaining economic losses. In April 2013, the EU agreed to allow oil imports from Syria, although only from opposition groups, which do not currently have access to Syria’s oil export infrastructure. In June 2013, the EU extended all sanctions on the Syrian government’s oil exports for an additional 12 months.”
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