The contract will be fulfilled in two phases. During a two-year trial phase, CNPC will invest $3.5 million in work on the field, following which $104.5 million will be spent on raising capacity to 10,000 barrels a day (b/d) from 4,500 b/d, through the creation of new wells and enhancing recovery from existing ones.

On 11 January, Syrian Oil Minister Ibrahim Haddad announced that exploration rights had been granted to five international groups for sites across the country. Among the five were the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, the US’ Ocean Energy, Canada’s Stratic Energyand a US-Indian consortium including India’s state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (MEED 13:1:03).

CNPC, along with an Irish firm and a Russian firm, has also landed deals to raise output from current sites. One site earmarked for an increase in capacity is Suwaidiya, the country’s largest oil field (MEED 20:12:02; 26:7:02; 21:6:02).