Clashes Over Syrian Oil, Gas Assets Continue

Clashes Over Syrian Oil, Gas Assets Continue
Clashes over Syrian oil and gas assets continue as regime warplanes carry out raids on the country's al-Izba oilfield, according to a statement from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Clashes over Syrian oil and gas assets continue as regime warplanes carry out raids on the country’s al-Izba oilfield, located north of Deir Ezzor, according to a statement from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which monitors the conflict in Syria through a network of sources on the ground.

The raids led to the outbreak of fire in the area, according to SOHR, which has recorded several violent encounters between the regime militia and Islamic State over the past year. Some of the most fought over fields in 2015 have been the Sha'er and Jazal assets, which both saw clashes at the end of September with casualties reported on both sides. SOHR reported further violent clashes around Jazal Sept. 15, which led to the death of a leading figure in the regime forces, as well as more fighting around Sha'er Sept. 14, 13 and 10.

The group also stated Sept. 7 that Islamic State had completely seized the Jazal field, described by SOHR at the time as the regime's last oilfield in Syria, although Reuters reported Sept. 8 that the government had denied this claim. A further observation by SOHR Sept. 8 revealed continued clashes at the Jazal field.

ISIS now controls 60 percent of Syria's oil production capacity, according to U.S.-based think tank the Brookings Institution. Figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that Syria’s total oil supply averaged 34,000 barrels per day in the first few months of 2015. In a report released June 24, the EIA also estimated that dry natural gas production in Syria was down by at least 40 percent compared with pre-conflict totals.

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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