The Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Wealth, Sufian al-Allao, announced that a Venezuelan ship loaded with 35,000 tons of heating oil had arrived in Syria to break the unilateral embargo illegally imposed by Western countries.

Venezuela is preparing a new tanker that will soon be sailing to the Middle Eastern country, he said at a news conference.

Addressing the issue of gas, Mr. al-Allao said that gas production in Syria meets 50% of local needs, noting in this respect that discussions are underway with Iran and Algeria to secure the other half (Editor’s note: very large gas reserves were discovered in Syria, but the country is not yet able to exploit them).

He noted that the Joint Syrian-Russian meeting in Moscow, is examining the possibility of signing a long term contract with Russia to export oil and gas to Syria.

Venezuela had already provided the equivalent of 600,000 barrels in late 2011-early 2012, emphasizing that Damascus was the victim of "a stigmatization by the imperialists" seeking to overthrow the government.

According to a report by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the country led by Hugo Chavez holds proven reserves of 296.50 billion barrels, the largest in the world.