Suwaydiya Oil Fields
SUWAYDIYA OIL FIELDS
Largest oil field in Syria, with a yearly output of 1 million tons (907,000 t).
The first Suwaydiya oil well was discovered toward the end of 1960 by the German company Concordia at a depth of 5,617 feet (1,712 m). This well is located southeast of Qarah Shuk in al-Jazira plateau in northeastern Syria. It was the second oil field to be discovered in Syria after the Qarah Shuk field, which was discovered in 1958 and contained nine wells. Between 1960 and 1962, the Concordia Company's field showed minimal progress. Three more wells were drilled in the Suwaydiya field, capable of production from the upper Cretaceous rock layer, with average depths of 5,000 feet (1,525 m). But the heaviness of the crude oil produced was discouraging, unless it was blended with lighter crudes from Iraq, in which case the Homs refinery could handle it. At that time, the Suwaydiya reserves were assessed at about 35 million tons (31.7 million t). The Suwaydiya fields were then thought capable of producing 12,000 barrels per day. In 1964, Concordia, which had begun a deep test-well a year earlier, had its license suspended when the Syrian government nationalized the oil industry. The Syrian Petroleum Authority, which was attached to the Ministry of Industry, undertook drilling with assistance from Soviet geophysicists and drillers.
In 1965, the Suwaydiya oil fields were considered commercial. Toward the end of 1974, a ministry for oil and mineral resources was established in Syria. It became responsible for concerting efforts with foreign oil companies for oil drilling, which has intensified since then. Compared with the Qarah Shuk, the Rumayla, and the Tayyim oil fields, the Suwaydiya fields are the largest, with an established reserve of 410 million tons (372 million t) and a yearly output of 1 million tons (907,000 t).