The destruction of the energy sector in Syria during the war 2011-2020

The destruction of the energy sector in Syria during the war 2011-2020


Chapter One:
The Oil and Gas sector in Syria before 2011
The evolution of oil and gas production in Syria
Areas of oil and gas production in Syria before 2011
Revenues from oil exports before 2011
Chapter Two:
The start of the war in Syria and its impact on the oil and gas sector Preamble
The change of control over the oil fields in Deir ez-Zor governorate in 2012
Deir ez-Zor oil outside the control of the Syrian regime after 2012
Opposition factions attempt to exploit oil fields
Primitive oil extraction methods by the opposition
Further ISIS expansion after taking control of oil and gas fields
The oil fields of Al-Hassaka, Deir-Ez-Zor and Al-Reqqa in the hands of PYD
PYD militia’s oil production and revenues
Chapter Three:
Gas Fields in Syria
Gas production before 2011
Gas fields in the central region
Oil fields in eastern Syria: The common denominator between America and Russia
Estimates of Material Damage in Oil and Gas sectors
Gas Production missed opportunities
Chapter Four:
The Destruction of the Electricity Generation Sector
Electricity generation and consumption capacity in 2010
Destruction or non-functioning of generating stations during the war years
The destruction of the electrical stations during the war
Attempts of restoring what has been destroyed
Chapter Five:
Iran’s and Russia’s expectations in Syria’s HydroCarbone Sector
Iran comes to the rescue of the regime
Russia’s ambitions for limited oil and gas wealth
Russia’s eyes on the Syrian gas in the Mediterranean
The agreement with the Russian “Capital” company


The Syrian people paid a heavy price in the ten-year war ignited by the Assad regime upon protests calling for the restoration of the people’s rights to freedom and dignity.

As a result of the unprecedented violence used, Syria emerged as a fragile state with most of its vital sectors destroyed. Also, the war had disastrous consequences on Syria’s economy.

In fact, the Syrian pound collapsed and lost its purchasing value, unemployment rates rose and job opportunities decreased, while poverty reached unprecedented levels in the history of the country.

If we want to analyze the Syrian war, we must go through the direct and indirect catastrophic effects of the war on the vital service sectors in Syria, including the problematic energy sector, and this for many considerations:

First, the sector’s abundance of financial assets, equipment and machinery, which were the target of the various parties to the conflict in Syria. In more detail, we cannot ignore Russia’s tireless effort to acquire Syria’s gas and phosphate resources. Nor can we ignore the ongoing conflict of many parties, like ISIS and the SDF (USA’s ally) for example, over oil wells for their own financial interests.

Second, the energy sector, especially oil and gas, played an important role in the interrelationships between the various parties to the conflict. In fact, the rivalry between these parties as well as their military operations does not seem to affect their commercial relations and their secret understandings, knowing the financial gains behind these deals.

Third, the destruction that occurred in this sector significantly affected various aspects of the civilian life in Syria. Let’s take the example of Power cuts.

Power cuts occurred mainly in the areas witnessing military actions, especially after the destruction of power plants. They affect the civilians’ ability to survive and burden them with additional electricity bills along with other burdens related to the war. Such burdens include the difficulty to obtain fuel, like gas for home cooking, diesel for heating, and benzine for transportation, after price increases.

This research assesses in detail the devastation in the energy sector: oil, gas and electricity, during the ten-year-war in Syria. It also reviews the historical aspect of oil and gas production, and the impact of war and military operations on these three components of the energy sector.

Moreover, it estimates the import revenues of the parties that had control over the oil and gas fields in the northeast of Syria, and exposes the Iranian and Russian covetousness of the Syrian hydrocarbon sector.

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 Or you can see it in Harmoon-CSS Collaboration – University of St Andrews 

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