After an EU embargo of oil from Syria in September 2011, Britain is now in formal talks with Syria’s pro-democracy rebels. Meetings with exiled Syrians in Paris and London are underway. Italy and Germany each purchased about a third of Syria’s crude.
Syria normally exports about only 100,000 barrels of crude daily, but earnings from that oil have become more important to an economy battered by months of political unrest. Nearly all of the exports went to Europe until the European Union imposed sanctions this month, depriving the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of a quarter of its earnings denominated in foreign currency.
The last oil cargo loaded from a Syrian port was on Friday, and potential buyers are unable to finance purchases of Syrian crude so far because of the sanctions, said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, a Houston consulting firm, and former Amoco trader.
With the world economy slowing and Libya poised to begin exporting some oil again over the next month, supplies on the world market have become more plentiful in recent weeks, so there is no great urgency for an Asian buyer to do business with Syria, oil experts said…
But oil experts say it is only a matter of time before the Syrians will be able to sell at least some of the oil, although they may have to sell at a discount.
“There is almost certainly someone who will buy it,” said Michael C. Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research, a consulting firm. “In the past there have been trading companies that would launder oil for Iraq or Iran, for example. Some countries will buy gasoline from Caribbean refiners without knowing the origin of the oil.”
Libya begged for NATO action to take out dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Not so in Syria however. A “Syrian National Council (SNC) has said there will be no foreign military operation to take Bashar Assad out of power.
Members of the Syrian National Council (SNC) said it would be an umbrella group for opposition groups inside and outside the country and a vehicle for democratic change.
The council aims at “achieving the wishes and hopes of our people in overthrowing the current regime … including the head of this regime,” according to a statement read by opposition figure Burhan Ghalioun at a news conference in Istanbul on Sunday. Source: The Guardian
Today, in the wake of 3500 dead since March, Russia is calling for “restraint,” and the rebels are asking what we’re “waiting for? Are you waiting until Al-Assad Terminates Us?” Source: Gulf News