Saturday, November 22, 2008

Double blow for Syria's energy security

November 20 2008 - The sudden decline in crude prices has taken oil producing nations by surprise, but few will be hurt as much as Syria, which is also grappling with rapidly falling supply. The double blow has huge implications for the economy.

"Energy is a problem," says Nabil Sukkar, an economist who heads the Syrian Consulting Bureau. "Our energy-generating capacity is below demand and our oil reserves are falling, while our gas reserves have not been developed rapidly enough."

Syria's dwindling resources are often cited by analysts as one of the main reasons the country needs to end its international isolation, a process that has now started with improved ties with Europe. David Miliband, UK foreign secretary, was in Damascus this week in the latest sign of a thaw in ties between the west and Syria.

While fighting off pressure from the US and other western states in recent years over alleged interference in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, Syria has also struggled for economic survival. More >>>

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