INA Makes Natural Gas Discovery in Syria

INA has made a large natural gas discovery in Syria, which might increase the value of the company ahead of its privatization, due to be completed next year. Officials at INA said that the several steps need to be completed before production can start, but initial reserve estimates are very encouraging. He declined, however, to provide details on the amount of reserves. INA Naftaplin, the gas unit of Croatia's largest company is the operator of the fields.

After the preliminary works INA will conclude a commercial deal with Syrian oil company State Petroleum Company and plans to commence production in 2005.

Three bidders Rosneft, OMV and Mol, are due to submit binding offers, including financial and strategic aspects and a business plan, for a 25 percent stake in Ina by December 18.