Syria signed a US$2.6 billion contract with Iran, Venezuela and Malaysia Tuesday for the construction of an oil refinery in central Syria that will have a daily capacity of 140,000 barrels, the oil ministry said.
The ministry said the refinery will be built in Furoqlos, near the northern city of Homs, some 160 kilometers north of the Syrian capital, Damascus.
Under the agreement, Venezuela will get 33% of the revenues, while Iran and Malaysia will each receive 26%, with Syria getting the remaining 15% – in accord with each side’s funding of the refinery.
The refinery will be provided with 42,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Venezuela; Iran will give 28,000 barrels and Syria 7,000 barrels a day for at least 25 years. Malaysia will provide the refinery with machinery, the ministry said in a statement.
The contract was signed by representatives of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company, NIORDC, Syria’s Oil Ministry, Venezuelan state oil firm PdVSA and the Malaysia Oil company.
Venezuela has strengthened its relations with Iran and Syria under President Hugo Chavez, who views the Middle East nations as important allies in his efforts to build what he calls “a multi-polar world,” no longer dominated by the U.S.
Syria’s production of oil has declined over the past decade. In 1996, it peaked at 590,000 barrels a day, then dropped to some 365,000 barrels a day in 2005.

(Dow Jones Newswires)