One of the main contributors to the economy in Syria is its energy industry. Along with crude oil fields, Syria is home to a wealth of natural gas reserves. The fields are estimated to contain 8.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It is one of Syria’s richest natural resources. Though natural gas is not currently a major export, the country has been making many efforts to further develop the industry as the worldwide demand for new and alternative energy sources increases. Outside investments in Syrian energy companies and industries have traditionally been scarce because of a corrupt, centrally planned economy. However, Syria’s new economic reforms are encouraging investors to consider the potential of natural gas.
Developing all aspects of this sector of the energy industry is a high priority for the Syrian government. The country is beginning within its borders by updating and expanding its current power plants and transformer stations. Not only is machinery and equipment that transfers natural gas being brought up-to-date, but Syria is converting much of it to run off of natural gas instead of oil. Many power stations are also being made ready to handle natural gas rather than crude oil, as the productivity of the Syria’s oil fields drops lower every year.
A major problem with developing the natural gas industry is a simple matter of location. While most of the population and developed areas of Syria are in the southwest, most gas fields have been discovered in the northeast regions. The discrepancy may be remedied, however, by outside investors who are slowly trickling into the industry. French and American companies hold interests in developing the gas fields, while Dutch and Japanese corporations have gotten involved by constructing pipelines for natural gas within the country. Syria hopes to continue this growth by creating a pipeline to Homs, a major port city, and enable the exportation of its vast natural gas supply.