In the latest development with its friend and partner Russia, Syrian Ministry of Petroleum has signed a contract with a Russian oil company on oil exploration, development and production. The activities will be carried out in the Syrian territorial waters. It has to be remembered that it is Russia and its president Vladimir Putin who stood against the possible attack on Syria by the U.S.
The Minister of Oil, Sulaiman Abbas, signed the contract with the Russian company named CEO Naftagas. The latest updates tell that the contracting party has agreed to do oil exploration and production in the block two of Syria’s territorial water. The two blocks stretch from the shore of the coastal city of Tartous to the city of Banyas.
Its known oil reserves are mainly in the eastern part of the country in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate near its border with Iraq and along the Euphrates River where several fields are located in the center of the country.
The New Contract Will Help Syria Restore Its Oil Production
The latest contract between the Syrian government and an oil company from Russia is least surprising as the two countries have been strengthening bilateral relationship recently. However, a major issue for now is that since Syria is in civil war, how far this contract will reach and since when it will begin its operation.
However, regarding the time, the minister said the contract will go into effect ‘immediately.’ However, this does not seem possible for Syria is facing economic sanctions from the European Union and the U.S. Additionally, as the Russian companies in Syria have not stopped its work despite the sanctions, tells the disregard the country has for the sanctions; in such a situation it looks possible that the work may ensue as soon as possible.
Syria has become a battleground for various fractions which are fighting to hold the country in ransom and oil, the lifeline for the Syrian economy, is at risk as the main oil fields are located in rebel-held areas like northeastern Syria. Currently, close to 40,000 oil barrels is stolen daily by the warring parties.
Syria, the only significant crude oil producing country in the Eastern Mediterranean region, has been benefiting from oil exports; however, the recent civil war has left this country in tatters. The country according to the Oil and Gas Journal has 2,500,000,000 barrels (400,000,000 m3) of petroleum reserves.
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