Since late July 2020, columns of US armored vehicles are entering northeast of Syria from Iraq.
Despite the withdrawal, it appears that American ambitions to ‘assist’ Syria in extracting its oil for the alleged benefit of the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) need a bit more support.
The US forces are bringing in equipment for a US company that will develop oil fields in an area controlled primarily by the SDF.
Washington gave oil production in Syria to a company formed a year ago, which belongs to the former US ambassador to Denmark, an ex-special forces officer and an oil worker who in the 2000s collaborated with the Syrian authorities to develop fields in that region of the country.
US coalition forces brought equipment, materials and oil storage tanks to their bases in northeastern Syria over the weekend.
Al-Masdar reported that more than 50 vehicles have entered the Hasakeh province from Iraq through the Alwaleed border crossing.
Lebanese media sources said that the convoy was accompanied by armored vehicles.
This delivery of equipment and materials is not the only one this month. According to Politico, in late July and early August, the Kurds signed a contract with the American company Delta Crescent Energy, which will develop reserves and export Syrian oil. Large-scale delivery of materials and equipment is connected with the beginning of its work.
According to Politico, some of the oil will be processed locally for the Kurds themselves, and some will be sold. Politico’s Syrian sources claim that buyers can be the Syrian government, Turkish-controlled militants, and Iraqi Kurdistan.
Delta Crescent Energy is the only company currently licensed by the US Treasury to produce oil in Syria.
“Our goal is to bring production to the level it was at before the war and the sanctions,” said one of the owners of the company, James Kane.
Northeast Syria, is mainly made up of the province of Deir ez-Zor. It is notable for the fact that it contains 75% of the country’s oil reserves – 2.5 billion barrels.
And most of the fields east of the Euphrates are controlled by the United States and the SDF, whose strike force is the Kurdish People’s Self-Defense Forces. Before the war, oil production in Syria was 20 million barrels per year.
Judging by open data, Washington hastily created the company and gave it to people who have the experience and capabilities to establish the production and sale of Syrian oil.
Damascus has already repeatedly called the US project a theft.
Delta Crescent Energy was registered last August in Delaware, according to Opencorporates.
The owners are not named, but Politico and several other Middle Eastern media outlets refer to them as James Kane, James Reese and John Dorrier Jr.
The first is known for being the US ambassador to Denmark for four years under President George W. Bush, and now owns Cain Global Partners, which promotes various brands in the Middle East, including Lego.
Reese, one of the partners of Delta Crescent Energy, has been a strong advocate of US military presence in Syria. In 2018, he declared on Fox News “We own the whole eastern part of Syria…That’s ours. We can’t give that up.” Presumably the ‘Delta’ part of the company’s name comes from him, since he spent part of his 25-year service in the US army as part of Delta Force.
Following his retirement in 2007, he formed TigerSwan, a company that provides security, logistics and risk management services to private businesses and US government agencies worldwide, including hot spots.
Finally, John P. Dorrier Jr. is a former executive at GulfSands Petroleum between 2004-2008, a UK based company that had previously worked in northeastern Syria.
It was at this time that the company entered the Syrian market, obtained a license for the Block 26 site in the north-east of the country and discovered the East Khurbert oil field there, which produced 18.5 thousand barrels per day before the war.
Gulfsands Petroleum later discovered and launched several more fields and was one of the last companies to halt operations in Syria in 2012 due to sanctions.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the White House supports the project and is aimed at modernizing the fields.
“The deal took longer than we expected and is now being implemented,” Pompeo said, according to Politico.
This, of course, comes entirely to the detriment of Syria, since in its attempt to presumably assist the local population, against the “bloody Assad regime”, the US has entirely occupied its oil field, now begins to exploit them and the only option is for Damascus to purchase oil extracted from its own country’s reserves.
“Syria is not able to cover even its own needs without the help of the allied Iran, which has been regularly sending oil tankers to Syria for several years now,” Russian military expert Yuri Lyamin explained.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry said that the deal with the American company was illegal and that Syrian oil was being stolen under the patronage of the American administration.
The Kurds themselves do not comment on the arrival of Delta Crescent Energy and say that they would prefer cooperation with Damascus. This was stated by Aldar Khalil, a member of the “Presidential Council” of the Kurdish Party of Democratic Union (PYD).
He noted, according to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, that previously oil from the eastern bank of the Euphrates was being sold to the Syrian government.
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