BEIRUT, December 25 (RIA Novosti) – Damascus has signed an agreement with Russian oil and gas company SoyuzNefteGaz to jointly prospect for oil off Syria’s Mediterranean coast, a spokeswoman for the Syrian natural resources ministry said Wednesday.
The Russian company will be in charge of financing all costs, tentatively estimated at $90 million.
“During the first stage, which envisages research and initial prospecting, the contractor [SoyuzNefteGaz] is expected to invest 15 million,” the spokeswoman said. “Then, during test drilling, the contractor will further invest $75 million to make at least one test well.”
She said that if test drilling confirms that the site has commercial-scale reserves of oil and gas, SoyuzNefteGaz would build the necessary infrastructure to subsequently develop the field and extract oil.
SoyuzNefteGaz was established in 2000 to enhance economic cooperation with former Soviet countries, the Middle East and North Africa. It is headed by former Russian Energy Minister Yury Shafranik.
Changes quote, adds more info about the project