Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Sufian Allaw, stressed on Wednesday that a Venezuelan oil tanker loaded with 35000 tons of diesel arrived on Monday, adding that Venezuela is preparing another tanker to head to Syria.
Concerning gas, Allaw said during a press conference that Syria's gas production covers 50% of demand, pointing out that negotiations are underway to import gas from Iran and Algeria to compensate for gas shortage.
Allaw revealed that the Syrian oil sector has lost USD 4 billion because of the oppressive EU and US sanctions on oil exports and imports since last September.
The Minister added that the joint Syrian-Russian Committee in Moscow would discuss the possibility of signing a long-term contract with Russia to supply fuel and gas to Syria.
He attributed the current shortage in gas to the EU and the US procedures which prevented transportation and importation companies from dealing with the fuel company in Syria despite the signed contracts.
Allaw said that the ministry is working hard to meet the needs of the local market through new contracts with several countries, calling upon citizens to substitute gas with other energy resources to cover their daily life requirements.
He added the government has imported oil by USD 3,5 billion since the beginning of the crisis, including more than 2 million tons of diesel and 450.000 tons of gas, pointing out that no oil or gas tankers have arrived in Syria since last April.
Allaw said that there is no shortage in funding but the problem remains in preventing tankers from arriving to Syria by those who imposed sanctions on the Syrian people, adding that oil derivatives needed to operate electricity generation plants are available in large amounts.
He indicated to the decline in the daily production of gas cylinders compared to the same period last year due to the sanctions imposed on the fuel company in Syria.
The Minister reviewed the EU and US sanctions imposed on the Syrian people since last August which include an embargo on purchasing or transporting Syrian oil, and prohibiting companies from dealing with Syria or investing in it, in addition to withdrawing experts and staff, suspending funding, and imposing sanctions on Syrian petroleum companies.
He added that Syria's ability to meet the citizens' needs of oil derivatives led its enemies to impose last March sanctions on the Fuel Company, which is a government company responsible for distributing oil derivatives and not producing them.
He added that Syria had contracts already signed with several companies whose dues are paid to provide Syria's needs of gas till the end of 2012, but these companies did not abide by these contracts under threats of the European parties concerned which illegally prevented these companies from supplying any state company in Syria with oil derivatives through a third party.