Country Risk

Fuel shortages and Syrian government’s likely lifting of unaffordable subsidies to be exploited by rival militias

16 April 2019

The Syrian government tightened fuel rationing from 40 to 20 litres per vehicle every two days on 14 April, in response to worsening shortages across western Syria. Civilians rushed to petrol stations ahead of the implementation of the new rationing system, causing major disruption in Damascus and other cities as vehicles queued for days at petrol stations.

Government officials blamed Western economic sanctions, claiming they were preventing Iranian oil tankers bound for Syrian ports from passing through the Suez Canal. Syria's oil production fell from around 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) prior to 2011 to an estimated 15,000 bpd in 2018, due to the loss of government control over its main oil fields and the destruction of infrastructure.

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