Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

In Turkish bet of on 'Safe Zone' oil, Obstacles and options

Opinion | 2019-10-16 15:03:43
In Turkish bet of on 'Safe Zone' oil, Obstacles and options
  (Eqtsad)- In the far north-east of Syria, on the border between Iraq and Turkey, where the Orient Express passed more than a decade ago, a small town called Maabadah is separated by a street from one of the most famous oil fields in Syria, Rmelan, and near it the Suwaidiyah fields.

 The potential production capacity of the oilfields of these two regions is approximately 200 thousand barrels per day. That is about 50% of Syria's oil production, before 2011. The Rmelan and Sywaidyah fields are located in the al-Malikiyah area, with a Kurdish demographic majority reaching about 75%.

According to the plan for the Safe Zone, which was presented by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to UN officials last month, al-Malikiyah area will be one of the targeted areas, meaning the Rmelan and Suwaidiyah fields will be part of the Buffer Zone.

Many theories about Turkey’s coveting Syrian oil in the northern province of Hasaka, theories supported by other, yet unproven, theories that the Rmelan oilfields, in particular, have far greater oil wealth than is detected today.

In 2013, the American Foreign Affairs magazine, The National Interstate, published a report that spoke of huge undiscovered oil reserves in the Rmelan fields, estimated at 315 billion barrels. We note here that the reserves discovered there so far are estimated at 69 billion barrels. Syria's total reserves are estimated at 200 billion barrels. However, if the theory put forward by the American magazine about the estimated undiscovered 315 billion barrels in Rmelan is true, it means doubling Syria's oil reserves. According to the magazine, based on a 2009 study by the University of Damascus, the Rmelan fields, if their expected reserves were met, would cover the needs of Syrian domestic consumption for 18 years.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting continues as Turkey presses on with its military operation, now in its eighth day, against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria, according to Al Jazeera.

Erdogan said the military action aims to remove the Kurdish-led forces from the border area and create a "safe zone" to which millions of Syrian refugees can be returned.

The move came after the United States announced it was withdrawing its troops from the area, leaving the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its main ally in the battle against the Islamic State, without US military support.

By Iyad al-Ja’fari

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