Croatia's state oil company INAannounced on 4 December that it had made a significant discovery of natural gas fields in Syria. No figure was given for the size of the find, but a company official was reported as saying that the quantities were more than sufficient to warrant commercial exploitation. Following initial studies, INA will conclude an agreement with state-owned Syrian Petroleum Company (SPC) and production should begin in 2005.
INA has been active in Syria for some time. It exercised its option to extend the exploration and production-sharing agreement (EPSA) signed with SPC in 1998, covering the 4,900-square-kilometre Hayan field, by another two years (MEED 9:8:02). INA has invested some $30 million in exploration over the last four years, and will be required to spend a minimum of $10 million in the next two years.
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