Tremendous efforts have been put into the two battels of liberating Palmyra in the first quarter of 2016 and early 2017 to restore energy sources on which the whole country relies, but it seems that all those efforts are soon to be gone with the wind.
War on Syria is not only for political reasons, but it’s a fight over the enormous gas reserve that Syria owns in Mediterranean water and the Syrian Desert around Palmyra and Dier Ezzor.
According to Firil Center for Studies in Berlin, 83% of Syrian reserve of gas and petrol is in the Syrian desert, while only 12% is located in Jazeerah area. As ISIS has taken over great part of Syria’s gas and oil fields, GDP fell 3 times from 60 billion dollars in 2010 to 20 billion dollars in 2016. Electricity generation in 2010 was 44,000 billion kWh and it fell to 18,000 billion in 2016.
Between February and April 2017, great part of gas fields captured by ISIS in the Syrian desert and around Palmyra particularly was liberated by the Syrian army and its allies, and a foreign company–whose name has not been revealed- started to restore work of gas fields there and even started to supply gas to meet national needs. According to our sources, they are operating there in terms of a “special” contract with the Syrian government.
3 average sized field north of Plamyra alone are enough to provide Syria with electricity 24 hours for the next 19 years. This is why the new investment gave hope of an improvement in the reality of electricity generation, and high officials starting from the Prime Minister to Energy Minister have promised citizens of a great improvement in electricity. This also opened new horizons for opportunities to restore national economy, and give a push to industrial development of Syria after 6 years of a total destruction of infrastructure. Also this contract gave people a glimpse of hope as they have been fed up with the continuous electricity cuts off that have messed up their life in its smallest details.
But it was not long till problems started to arise as the company now is claiming that the Syrian government is not paying its liabilities which has resulted a debt of millions of dollars. According to some sources, the government has not been paying its share as agreed on in the contract, and now the company is threatening to cut gas supplies from Palmyra gas fields, which means going back to zero point, back to the same energy crisis when ISIS was controlling those fields. The fact that gas production might be troubled once again as a result of the aforementioned problem between the investing company and the Syrian government raises much worries about what would the reality of electricity sector be like in the coming months, especially that now Ramadan is still in its early days and that summer in Syria would exceed 40 degrees in most areas.
As war has entered its seventh war, it is Syrian citizens’ right to be transparently informed of all whereabouts that affect their daily life. Without electricity, economy, health, and education sectors suffer much leading to sharp decline in their performance; not to speak of daily life which is very difficult with high heat without any air conditioning or enough electricity to keep refrigerators working.
Throughout the war, Syrian people have done their best to maintain their support of the government, and in return they deserve to be respected and be informed of the truth.