Open source analysis of damage to oil facilities in Syria.
This study finds that:
The absence of expertise at several oil industry locations, combined with air strikes against oil infrastructure, resulted in the build-up of rudimentary crude oil storage in makeshift surface reservoirs since 2013.
Oil spills have occurred at several of these reservoirs and nearby pipelines, resulting in localised environmental damage due to leaks or mismanagement.
At three refineries retaken from IS, significant oil spills occurred in late 2017 and early 2018, resulting in kilometres-long oil spills that were visible on satellite imagery. The cause of these spills are unknown, but could be attributed to absence of relevant on-site expertise, safer alternatives, and an unfortunate combination with heavy rainfall causing spread of crude oil over larger areas.