SNC Accuses Assad of Exchanging Syria’s Oil for Weapons
The Syrian National Coalition, consisting of opposition groups in the Syrian civil war, has condemned the oil and gas exploration deal the Syrian government yesterday signed with the Russian oil company Soyuzneftegaz.
In a press release issued yesterday, the Syrian Coalition said it “condemns the Assad regime’s signing of a contract with the Russian company Soyuzneftegaz to drill for oil and gas in Syrian waters. Such a dishonorable deal is intended to give away Syria’s natural resources in exchange for Russian weapons to be used to kill Syrians.”
Furthermore, Khalid Saleh, Syrian Coalition Media Office President, said that the contract was “completely illegal as the Assad regime does not represent the Syrian people.
“Only the Syrian people can give legitimacy to a decision regarding Syria’s resources and future,” Saleh said.
According to the Syrian news agency SANA, the Russians will search for oil in the Syrian territorial waters in the area between Banyas city and Tartous city. The block covers approximately 2,190 square kilometers.
The deal will involve two stages. Under the first stage, Soyuzneftegaz will carry out seismic surveys to identify a potential drill site. Following the first stage, Soyuzneftegaz will proceed with drilling at least one exploration well. If the first well is successful, the Russians will carry on with further drilling and development and production operations.
The costs for the surveys and one firm well are estimated to be around $90 million, which will be fully funded by Soyuzneftegaz.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, December 27, 2013