Syria Says Sanctions Cost Oil Sector $4 Billion
Syria's oil minister Sufian Allaw says international sanctions have taken a toll of about $4 billion on the economy, pointing to the US and EU for putting pressure on President Bashar Asaad.
For Syrians, the sanctions have led to long lines to pay for inflated prices of cooking gas and other products. According to Allaw, prices for a tank of cooking gas have more than quadrupled, while gas production covers only half of the country's needs. Officials are seeking imports from other countries like Venezuela, Algeria and Iran to fill the gap.
Before the uprisings began in March, Syria's oil accounted for around $7-8 million per day out of the country's $17 billion in foreign reserves in March of 2011. Today, Allaw tells reporters that the sanctions have cost the oil sector about $4 billion.
Although the uprising began as a peaceful call for reform, the government's brutal crackdown led to the death of over 9,000 people, according to UN estimates. Many fear that violence in Syria will spill over into neighboring Lebanon. Earlier this month, an outspoken Lebanese critic of Syria led to a gun battle in Tripoli, Lebanon, killing at least 8 people.
On Tuesday, armed gunmen kidnapped 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims in Syria, setting off a series of more protests and road blockades. Lebanon's Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour announced today that the captives had been located and should be released soon.
Prospects for talks between the regime and rebels are bleak as President Assad continues to dismiss the opposition as “armed terrorists.”
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.