Syrian Oil Output Declining; Natural Gas Output on the Rise

Oil Minister Ibrahim Haddad said in an interview that Syria's oil output is declining but natural gas production is increasing, noting, "Syria's production is going in two different directions: Gas is constantly increasing while oil production is on the decline." Oil exports provide 70 percent of Syria's revenues. According to Haddad, production of light crude is running at 520,00 barrels per day, while Syria's output of gas has risen to 20.9 million cubic yards per day. Over the last few years, Syria's oil output has peaked at 600,000 bpd; gas reserves are estimated at 313.9 billion cubic yards. Foreign investors are showing interest in Syria's energy industry; Petro-Canada signed a contract for oil exploration and production in the Deir ez-Zor region near the border with Iraq in November 2003.