Syria is in talks with China National Petroleum Corp. to jointly build a $1 billion refinery in the Middle Eastern country, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing visiting Syrian deputy prime minister Abdallah al-Dardari.
The planned refinery in eastern Syria will have the capacity to process 70,000 barrels of crude a day, said Xinhua, adding that the two sides will conduct technological and economic feasibility studies before signing a contract.
Syria also plans to use CNPC’s technology to upgrade five aging oil fields in Syria to boost output, and to import Chinese oil exploration machinery, Dardari was quoted as saying.
Syria will also invite China to conduct oil exploration in 5,000 square kilometers of Syrian waters, the official China Daily quoted him as saying.
CNPC – China’s largest oil company by assets and the parent of PetroChina Co. (PTR) – has been seeking access to Syria since 2005. It made a joint approach with India’s state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp. for the Al Fruit oil field in Syria in December 2005, paying $575 million for an 18.75% stake in the field that had been held by Petro-Canada.