Total In Talks With Syrian Govt To Renew Crude Oil PSA

DAMASCUS, April 8, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Total S.A. was holding talks with the Syrian government to renew a production sharing agreement signed in 1988, the company said in statement Tuesday.

"There are ongoing discussions with the government of Syria to renew this agreement over a 10-year period, until 2021," the company said. The current PSA expires in 2011.

Total currently produces some 30,000 barrels a day from the Deir Ezzor area in northeast Syria. The company said it wanted to maintain that production level.

The PSA contract area contains nine production fields, the most significant of which are Jafra, Qahar and Attalla, it said.

Total, in partnership with ConocoPhillips, developed the Deir Ezzor gas plant in 1999 under a build-operate-transfer contract and it was transferred to the Syrian government in 2005, the statement said.

Total said it had also proposed a number of oil and gas projects to the Syrian government with the aim of optimizing the recovery of both oil and gas. It didn't mention these projects specifically.

Syria's Oil Minister Sufian al-Alao said Monday that his country's oil production had fallen by 20,000 barrels a day to 360,000 barrels a day and said Syria is taking measures to increase its production by awarding exploration contracts to international oil companies.

DAMASCUS, April 8, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)