Wartime Oil Refineries Emerge in Raqqa, Syria

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The ongoing conflict in Syria between the President Bashar Al Assad's regime and  the opposition forces has complicated the transfer of oil from Raqqa to western provinces like Lattakia, Tartous, Damascus, and Idlib. The besieged city of Aleppo is one of the main transfer destinations that is suffering from a lack of fuel also one of the hardest to get fuel to.

Syrian opposition forces control the majority of oil wells in the country, most of which are located in the east in the provinces of Raqqa and Deir El-Zor.

The opposition forces do not have the adequate equipment for refining oil. The lack or proper equipment has resulted in using gas barrels that are filled with fuel and placed on a fire. This method produces pollution and a very low grade fuel product. The fuel from this form of extraction harms the vehicles and eventually breaks the engines down by destroying the pistons.


00:40: This is a tank we created to produce fuel. We have a high demand for fuel and we needed to adapt.

00:50: We created a tank with around three to four millimeters of iron bags. We fill it with fuel and then we stir it on the fire for three to four hours.

01:02: We produce three to four barrels of gasoline, diesel, or gas per day.

01:10: We're refining oil in the eastern areas because this is where the wells are located.

01:21: Syrian traders transfer the oil to western provinces like Lattakia, Tartous, Damascus and Idleb along with all the areas under siege that are suffering of lack of fuel.

02:05: How much for one litter?

02:06: 180 SYP ($1.80 USD)

02:09: Local refining?

02:11: From Kafar Abeed

02:13: Regarding gasoline, it’s refined but it’s a very bad quality.

02:20: It has many disadvantages it damages the pistons. They're refining it in the desert and the countryside, in Raqqa and Maskana.

03:05 The gasoline we're getting is from Al Raqqa, it's not even gasoline, It's not properly processed. The vehicles eventually break down because of it.

03:17: The problem is in the injectors and the diesels quality doesn’t let the motors operate properly. If you leave a barrel to the next day, you'll find half of it filled with mud.

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