Syria wants India

Vol 15, PW 6 (22 Sep 11) News in Brief

This is one opportunity India might do well to ignore, at least for now.

Syria wants a greater Indian presence in its E&P sector, which European and US companies may exit following a September 2 European ban on Syrian crude imports. PETROWATCH learns the Syrian embassy in Delhi wrote to the Indian oil ministry on September 9 inviting Indian participation in the country’s second offshore bidding round, launched on March 24 and closing on December 13.

“Syria also wants India to study data from several producing onland oilfields (which may soon be vacated by international companies),” says a ministry source. OVL and Oil India, he adds, have been asked for their comments but no privately owned company has been approached.

OVL and China’s CNPC jointly hold a 37% stake in the Shell-operated Al Furat Petroleum Company, which owns 39 Syrian oil and gasfields. OVL also holds 60% in Syria’s onland exploration Block 24, where Egypt’s IPR is operator.