At a time when countries are racing to invest the great wealth of gas that has emerged in the Mediterranean, Syria is hardly heard, despite all the shortages it suffers from in energy resources, which is so far considered the most prominent responsible for the poor economic conditions in the country. Why does Syria not invest in the Mediterranean gas?
This question was directed to the Syrian oil minister of Oil, Bassam Tohme, during his participation in the Russian Energy Week in Moscow, last week, and he answered it, leaving the Russian party responsible for this delay, as he has been granted the right to explore for Mediterranean gas in the Syrian territorial waters for more than two years. and bears full responsibility for Western sanctions.
In an interview with the "Newsmaker" program, which took place on the sidelines of the "Russian Energy Week" forum, Tohme claimed that US sanctions impede any exploration operations in the Mediterranean, and said: "In Syrian waters, only a survey operation was carried out by a Norwegian company in 2005, and any exploration operation It must be preceded by a (geological) survey, and unfortunately the Syrian oil sector is subject to US sanctions, which include banning the supply of technology, and Syria now needs to renew seismic surveys in waters before drilling.”
The minister added, according to the "Russia Today" website: "Any company that Syria tries to contract with in order to conduct the survey is threatened with sanctions, and therefore the location of exploration in the Mediterranean depends on finding alternatives to Western technology that is being banned from Damascus," stressing that the regime signed two contracts with two Russian companies for gas extraction in the Mediterranean.
The US Geological Survey estimated Syria's natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean at 700 billion cubic meters, according to what the Syria TV website reported earlier, while the Ferrell Center for Studies in Berlin expected that Syria would occupy the third place in the world in gas production if it managed to From raising its production capacity to its maximum, according to the same source.
Observers believe that what prevents Syria from extracting Mediterranean gas so far is not the US sanctions, as it claims, but because it has not signed the International Law of the Sea, and therefore this prevents it from demarcating its maritime borders with neighboring countries, Turkey, Cyprus and Lebanon, in addition to Russia controlling the Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean, which belongs to the Syrian side, is the one that prevents any exploration and extraction of gas and oil, because it knows that this gas will go to the European market, which deprives it of controlling and controlling this market.