Syrian Hydrocarbon Reserves

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Syria is the only relatively significant crude oil producing country in the Eastern Mediterranean region, which includes Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.[1] 70% of Syria's oil and gas output is concentrated in the north-eastern region of Deir Ez Zour.[2]

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, as of 2010 Syria had proven reserves of 2.5 billion barrels, representing 0.2% of global reserves. It was producing 385,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, accounting for 0.5% of global production.[3]

Syria is not a big oil exporter, however oil is critical to its political economy, as it is a less restricted revenue flow for the regime than others.[4]

Natural Gas

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, as of 2010 Syria had proven reserves of 9.1 trillion cubic feet of gas, representing 0.1% of global reserves. It was producing 7.8 billion cubic metres (bcm), an increase of 37.3% on 2009 figures and accounting for 0.2% of global production.[3]

Historically, Syria's gas reserves have been treated as a poor hydrocarbon relative to oil, as successive governments prioritized oil and considered natural gas as useful primarily to fire power plants and industrial furnaces, or to be used as feedstocks for other industries. Hence the Syrian gas sector was not sufficiently developed to replace oil as a dominant primary energy source.[5]

As of 2008 it was estimated that three quarters of Syria's gas reserves are owned by the Syrian Petroleum Company (SPC), including around 3.6 tcf across several fields in the Palmyra area, 1.6 tcf at the AFPC fields, 1.2 tcf at Souedieh, 0.8 tcf at Jbessa, 0.7 tcf at Deir Ez Zour and the remainder at Hol, Ghona and Marqada.

Around half of Syria's natural gas is non-associated and the remainder is associated. Syria's newest gas discoveries include a modest discovery by INA at Hayyan, in the Palmyra area.[6] While much of its oil is exported to Europe, Syria's natural gas is used in reinjection for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and for domestic electricity generation.[7]

Syria's has announced intentions to increase the level of natural gas production over the coming years as part of a strategy to substitute natural gas for oil in power generation and to free up as much oil as possible for export.[6]


  1. "Country Profile: Syria" EIA August 2011.
  2. "Oil, food and protest in Syria's restive east" The National, 17 January 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "BP Statistical Review of World Energy" BP, retrieved 15 March 2012.
  4. "Drilling for oil while Hama burns" Petroleum Economist, 19 August 2011.
  5. "Assessment of Syrian Energy Sanctions" Syrian National Council, 23 November 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Energy Profile of Eastern Mediterranean" Encyclopedia of Earth, 18 November 2008.
  7. "Syria Oil and Gas Profile" A Barrel Full, retrieved 15 March 2012.

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