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EU imposes oil embargo on Syria


The European Union (EU) agreed on Friday, 1st September to ban crude oil imports from Syria with the embargo coming into effect on Saturday.

"The prohibition concerns purchase, import and transport of oil and other petroleum products from Syria. No financial or insurance services may be provided for such transactions," an EU statement said.

The ban began on Saturday, but existing contracts can be fulfilled until mid-November, at the insistence of Italy, where oil companies say they have already purchased oil which has not yet been delivered.

Syria only produces 0.5 per cent of the world's oil, producing around 385,000 bpd of crude, generating US$3.2 billion a year which constitutes 25.1 per cent of the Syria's revenues. Exports account for 148,000 bpd of the country's production.

Though the loss of the oil will be less felt across the EU, where Syrian crude accounts for a mere 1.5 per cent of the bloc's imports. The EU buys 95 per cent of Syria's crude oil so the impact of the oil embargo will be felt in monetary terms by Syria.

The embargo on Syria's hydrocarbon sector is the latest sanction against Syria by which the EU is trying to ramp up the pressure on President Assad regime.