Syria’s petroleum ministry is in talks over five separate oil and gas contracts, reports the Syria Report this week. Citing an executive at state-firm General Petroleum Corporation (GPC), the report says the contracts in question involve onshore and offshore concessions. Work includes both exploration as well as infrastructure rehabilitation, though it is unclear how many contracts are for each type of work.

Given current EU and US sanctions on Syria and President Bashar al-Assad’s insistence that Syria will only do business with allies, interested parties likely include Russian, Iranian, and perhaps Chinese firms. Syria watchers can thus expect a high degree of opacity going forward as the country strives to restart oil and gas production. (CONTINUED - 117 WORDS)