The Biden administration has chosen to end a Trump-era waiver allowing for an American company to operate in Syria’s YPG/PKK-controlled oil sector, according to a report published on Thursday.
Rather than renewing the license for Delta Crescent Energy to operate in the country’s northeast, US President Joe Biden has chosen to let it lapse in a departure from ex-President Donald Trump’s policy to “keep the oil” in Syria’s petroleum-rich region, The Associated Press reported.
The pledge to use “the U.S. military to facilitate Syrian oil production was deemed inappropriate” by the Biden administration, according to the AP, which based its reporting on information from an anonymous official.
Jack Dorrier, one of the oil firm’s three co-founders, told the AP that Delta Crescent Energy had roughly $2 billion in contracts to sell oil from northeast Syria to international buyers that he said would benefit US allies in the fight to defeat Daesh/ISIS.
He said presidential orders issued under former President Barack Obama prompted companies to apply for waivers to operate in several Syrian sectors, including oil and gas.
“If the Biden Administration chooses not to renew the OFAC license, it will be a substantial change in policy that does not support Coalition Allies who fought and died to eliminate ISIS,” Dorrier said in a statement, using an acronym to refer to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which manages the license.
“Depriving our Allies of the opportunity for sanctions relief on critical infrastructure as laid out by the Obama administration would, in effect, turn the North and East of Syria over to Russian, Regime and Iranian forces,” he added.
The region is controlled by the YPG, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, a designated terror group in the US, EU and Turkey.
The AP separately reported that the company said it has not been notified by the Treasury Department that the waiver has not been renewed.
It is unclear if it has been formally told of the decision, and an anonymous former official familiar with the matter told the AP that the Biden administration informed Delta Crescent Energy that it did not intend to renew the waiver.