LONDON Aug 12 Swiss oil traders Vitol and
Trafigura are supplying fuel to Syria, dealers said on Friday,
despite a bloody military crackdown by President Bashar
al-Assad's security forces against protesters that has cost
hundreds of lives.
Sytrol, Syria's state-owned oil company, agreed to buy two
30,000 tonne cargoes of gasoline, one apiece from Vitol and
Trafigura, in a tender on the oil market that closed this week,
several trading sources with knowledge of the deals said.
The two trading houses did not respond to requests for
At current market prices the oil will cost Syria about $60
It is not known yet where Vitol and Trafigura will source
the gasoline, but it is likely to come from Mediterranean
refineries in Italy, France or Spain.
The two privately held trading firms are among the richest
of global oil dealers, Vitol with 2010 annual turnover of $195
billion and Trafigure with an estimated $79 billion.
The sales come as the mounting death toll in Syria increases
pressure on Western governments to impose tougher sanctions
But EU officials say that more robust steps against Syrian
economic interests that might include the oil sector are
unlikely even to be discussed before the end of the EU's August
summer break. .
Syria's oil industry generates most of the state's hard
currency from crude output of 380,0000 barrels a day.
There is no suggestion yet that deliveries of gasoline or
other refined fuels into Syria would be targeted by sanctions.
While Syria exports crude oil, its refinery capacity is not
sufficient to meet domestic demand for fuel. Typically it has to
import two or three cargoes of gasoline a month.
(Writing by Simon Falush, additional reporting by Emma Farge,
editing Richard Mably)