Syrian official warns of further reliance on oil exports
The Syrian economy will face deficit by 2014 if it remains dependent on oil production, which has been going down in recent years, said Director of the Syrian Planning Authority Abdullah Al-Dardari on Sunday.
In a statement to KUNA, he said that the country's imports of energy will surpass exports this year, noting that studies have indicated that oil production will fall starting 2012.
The added that oil is a temporary resource that is covering Syria's unbalanced economy, especially with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreasing since 1990.
According to KUNA, Al-Dardari added that the deficit will mean a continued drop in living standards, noting that the upcoming period is opportune for fundamental economic reform.
Oil is Syria's number one export and is its income is an important contributor to the state's treasury. Production has been dropping in recent years, whereby current production rates stand at 450,000 barrels per day after having been at 600,000.
Oil sources expect production to fall to 300,000 barrels per day, covering only part of domestic consumption. The government has recently signed contracts with international oil and gas excavation firms with the aim of boosting its oil reserves.