Russia may resume $1.6bn oil and gas projects in Syria

ARCHIVE PHOTO © ITAR-TASS / Kremlin Press Service CVI / JV
Russian business would consider resuming energy contracts in Syria worth $1.6 billion if the country manages to stabilize from its civil war, explains the executive director of the Russian Union of Gas and Oil Industrialists.

“If military actions cease and the situation becomes stable in Syria, Russian companies that have frozen their work because of the civil war will be ready to renew their activity within a short period of time in realizing projects that were signed before the crisis with a value of no less than $1.6 billion,” Gissa Guchetl said in an interview with RIA Novosti published Monday.

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Last week, Guchetl met Syrian Prime Minister Wael Halqi and Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Suleiman Abbas in Damascus. The ministers were interested in loading the refineries in Banias and Tartous and stockpiling oil products for the winter.

Halqi and Abbas also offered Russian and Chinese companies the opportunity for further extraction in government-held territory.

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The Syrian government thanked Russian engineering construction company Stroytransgaz, and oil producer Tatneft and other companies for their activities in the country, including maintenance work and the restoration of gas lines, damaged by terrorists.

Syria has been in civil war for more than four years with government troops fighting opposition and radical Islamist armed groups such as the Al-Nusra Front and ISIS.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 230,000 people have died in the conflict since March, 2011.