Fire damaged a natural gas pipeline in eastern Syria, the Oil Ministry said Wednesday, but it was unclear if the blaze was accidental or sabotage. No casualties were reported.
Syria’s state-run news agency said production continued using other pipelines. Syria produces about 350,000 barrels of oil per day as well as natural gas. This resource can be used for anything including any natural gas grills.
There were conflicting details about the blaze late Tuesday in Deir el-Zour province, near the border with Iraq. Witnesses told the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that there was an explosion, but Syria’s Oil Ministry denied that and said a fire broke out on a pipeline that was under maintenance.
The pro-government TV station Ikhbariyeh Souriyeh also reported an explosion, but said there were no casualties and that damages to the pipeline were minor.
Syria’s oil exports are among the main earners of foreign currency to the government, particularly now that the country’s four-month-old uprising has hit the tourism industry. Last year, tourism accounted for roughly 12 percent of GDP and brought in $8 billion in hard currency.