BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources, Bassam Tohme, said on Saturday that the traffic disruption of maritime traffic at the Suez Canal has affected oil supplies to the country.
In an interview with Syrian TV, Tohme said, “The disruption of navigation in the canal led to a delay in the arrival of a tanker carrying oil and oil products to Syria .”
He explained that “in order to ensure the continuity of providing basic services to the Syrians (ovens, hospitals, water stations, communication centers and other vital institutions), the Ministry of Oil is currently rationalizing the distribution of available quantities of oil derivatives (diesel – benzene) to ensure their vital availability for the longest possible time.”
The minister indicated that if the crisis in the canal continues for a long time, Syria may be forced to resort to an alternative route, “the Cape of Good Hope.”
He wished the success of the operations to move the ship and open the Suez Canal, in order for the movement of transport and trade to return to normal and the arrival of the expected oil supplies to Syria without having to take additional measures.
Media reports quoted Egyptian sources in the Suez Canal as saying that the tanker, which closed the shipping lane of the Suez Canal, was moved for the first time on Friday night after extracting 20 cubic meters of sand around it.