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Syria invites foreign investors to bid for oil and gas fields


DAMASCUS, November 7 (RIA Novosti, Nadim Zuauyi) - Syria has invited foreign investors to bid for nine new oil and gas deposits in the country, the Syrian petroleum minister said Monday.

Speaking at an international conference on investment in the Syrian oil and gas sector, Ibrahim Haddad said his country had concluded several contracts for the development of new fields and expressed the hope that many bids would come from foreign companies for nine new deposits.

He also mentioned special guarantees from Syrian government for foreign oil companies.

Russia's independent energy company ITERA, the oil major LUKoil and the energy construction company Stroitransgaz, which won a tender to build the Syrian stretch of a 300-km Arab gas pipeline in early October, are participating in the conference.

In March 2005, Russia's Tatneft oil company signed a contract to explore and develop a new oil and gas field in eastern Syria.

Haddad said the Syrian government was considering a proposal from a Russian company to build an oil refinery with a capacity of 140,000 barrels per day and a petrochemical facility. The project is estimated at $2 billion.

The refinery's construction is important for the development of the Syrian oil industry and the expansion of the local production of petroleum products, the minister said.

Syria currently produces 425,000 barrels per day.

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