Shell Oil quits Syria due to EU sanctions
This is the kind of pressure that will cause the Syrian economy - already reeling from the 8 month crackdown on protestors - to face collapse. Oil revenue is about the only foreign exchange that Syria enjoys and without it, there isn't much of an economy to talk about.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's largest oil company, will cease operations in Syria to comply with the latest European Union sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's government.
The EU added three oil companies to the list of those targeted by an asset freeze and travel ban. The three petroleum companies are Syria Trading Oil Co., General Petroleum Corp. and Al Furat Petroleum Co., according to the decision published today in the EU's Official Journal.
Shell, China National Petroleum Corp. and Oil & Natural Gas Corp. of India are partners in Al Furat Petroleum, which produced about 100,000 barrels of oil a day, according to its website.
"We will cease activities in line with the sanctions and our priority is the safety of our staff," Shell spokesman David Williams said by phone from London. He declined to comments further, saying that the company lawyers are still working on the new sanctions requirements.
There are already shortages of every basic foodstuff and commodity in Syria and the ban will only exacerbate an already terrible situation. If things continue as they have been, even Damascus will see huge protests which will be the beginning of the end of the Assad regime.