Syria Oil Min: To Award 8 Blocks Within Two Months

CAIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), Dec. 27, 2010

The Syrian government will award contracts to explore, develop and produce hydrocarbon from eight onshore blocks within two months, the country's oil minister said Saturday.

"We have already closed the bid round earlier this month and the results will be announced within two months," Sufian Alaw told Dow Jones Newswires.

Syria had earlier extended the deadline for the bid round to Dec. 8 from Sept. 15, to give the firms more time to prepare their bids.

The ministry offered production-sharing contracts to explore blocks 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 14, 16 and 18, located mostly on the eastern and northern parts of the country with a total area of 74,000 square kilometers.

The country will also tender four offshore oil exploration blocks in January, Alaw added.

Syria aims to boost its crude oil production, which has declined from 590,000 barrels a day in 2006 to 380,000 barrels a day currently. Its natural gas production stands at 25 million cubic meters a day.

International oil companies such as Shell, Total, and China National Petroleum Corp., Gulfsands Petroleum, Tatneft and ONGC Videsh are already working on oil and gas projects in the country.

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