President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian offshoot of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), have agreed to share the revenues of the oil extracted from the areas controlled by the Assad regime in the country’s north-eastern province of Al-Hasakah.
Local sources told Anadolu Agency that the Syrian regime, together with PKK/PYD, control nine oil fields in Al-Hasakah province, three of which are active.
Approximately 30,000 – 35,000 barrels of oil per day are being produced from nearly 350 small oil wells located in the Syria’s south-western As-Suwayda city, in addition to the north-eastern cities of Rimelan and Karacok.
The sources added that the PKK/PYD recently handed over the control of oil production in the Rimelan region to the Assad regime after they signed a revenue sharing agreement between both sides.
According to the agreement, the Assad regime will receive 65 per cent of the oil production revenues in Rimelan, while the PKK/PYD will obtain 20 per cent. The remaining revenue share will be given to the Arab forces that are responsible for the protection of the fields. The Syrian regime pays the salaries for the protection forces and the other related workers.
Despite the agreement, the PKK/PYD still maintain an office in Rimelan through which their officers regularly update the organisation with the field production activities.
The oil produced from the fields is transported to the refineries located in the Syrian regime-held province of Homs. The prominent Syrian entrepreneur Husam Katirci, a close associate of the Assad family, oversees the oil transfer.
The Assad regime carries out the required maintenance for the oil pipelines connecting the Homs refinery with the oil fields located in Iraq’s Sinjar district.
According to the Syrian oil ministry, the country’s total oil production had reached 385,000 barrels per day prior to the 2011 uprising, 150,000 barrels of which had been allocated for export and the rest for the internal consumption.
The oil production of the war-torn country declined to 164,000 barrels per day in 2012, 28,000 in 2013, and 14,000 in 2014.
Syria’s oil and gas sector accounted for approximately one fourth of the government’s revenues, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
In March, the Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, announced that the Russian oil companies will cooperate with Syria to revive the country’s oil sector.
Before the Syrian conflict, the country’s oil exports amounted to 25 per cent of the total national income. 95 per cent of the total oil exports were being exported to EU countries.