Petroleum Minister: Exploration to start in promising new oil and gas locations off Syria’s Mediterranean shores

Damascus, SANA – Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Sleiman al-Abbas announced that there are promising new gas and oil hopes off Syria’s shores in the Mediterranean Sea.

His announcement came during a People’s Assembly session on Tuesday where he answered questions and queries made by MPs about the oil situation and the Ministry’s performance.

The new gas and oil hopes came out as the result of surveys already conducted for the purpose, the Minister said, noting that Syria signed in 2014 a contract with the Russian Soyuzneftegaz company for exploration and drilling in the Syrian territorial waters this year.

Al-Abbas also pointed out that the Syrian Petroleum Company intends to send a drilling machine to the coastal Lattakia province to start drilling in one of those promising oil locations.

He made it clear that the Ministry’s priority for now is to ensure the diesel needs of key sectors, including the military institution, bakeries, hospitals and telecommunications among other vital sectors like agriculture and industry economy.

He referred to the difficulty of securing this material under the unfair economic sanctions imposed on the Syrian people since the start of the crisis in 2011.

The Minister also highlighted the constant efforts to protect the oil pipeline between Tal Adas area in the northeastern Hasaka province and Homs Refinery in central Syria, given this pipeline’s key significance in supplying the needed oil products.

In addition to the efforts exerted locally, al-Abbas said the Ministry is also communicating with the friendly countries to provide Syria’s oil needs, particularly of diesel.

Manar al-Frieh/Haifa Said

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