Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold Final Warning: Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - P_Radomski_CFA
2.Fed Balance Sheet QE4EVER - Stock Market Trend Forecast Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3.UK House Prices, Immigration, and Population Growth Mega Trend Forecast - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Gold and Silver Precious Metals Pot Pourri - Rambus_Chartology
5.The Exponential Stocks Bull Market - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Yield Curve Inversion and the Stock Market 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.America's 30 Blocks of Holes - James_Quinn
8.US Presidential Cycle and Stock Market Trend 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Dear Stocks Bull Market: Happy 10 Year Anniversary! - Troy_Bombardia
10.Britain's Demographic Time Bomb Has Gone Off! - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
S&P 500’s Downward Reversal or Just Profit-Taking Action? - 18th April 19
US Stock Markets Setting Up For Increased Volatility - 18th April 19
Intel Corporation (INTC) Bullish Structure Favors More Upside - 18th April 19
Low New Zealand Inflation Rate Increases Chance of a Rate Cut - 18th April 19
Online Grocery Shopping Will Go Mainstream as Soon as This Year - 17th April 19
America Dancing On The Crumbling Precipice - 17th April 19
Watch The Financial Sector For The Next Stock Market Topping Pattern - 17th April 19
How Central Bank Gold Buying is Undermining the US Dollar - 17th April 19
Income-Generating Business - 17th April 19
INSOMNIA 64 Birmingham NEC Car Parking Info - 17th April 19
Trump May Regret His Fed Takeover Attempt - 16th April 19
Downside Risk in Gold & Gold Stocks - 16th April 19
Stock Market Melt-Up or Roll Over?…A Look At Two Scenarios - 16th April 19
Is the Stock Market Making a Head and Shoulders Topping Pattern? - 16th April 19
Will Powell’s Dovish Turn Support Gold? - 15th April 19
If History Is Any Indication, Stocks Should Rally Until the Fall of 2020 - 15th April 19
Stocks Get Closer to Last Year’s Record High - 15th April 19
Oil Price May Be Setup For A Move Back to $50 - 15th April 19
Stock Market Ready For A Pause! - 15th April 19
Shopping for Bargain Souvenirs in Fethiye Tuesday Market - Turkey Holidays 2019 - 15th April 19
From US-Sino Talks to New Trade Wars, Weakening Global Economic Prospects - 14th April 19
Stock Market Indexes Race For The New All-Time High - 14th April 19
Why Gold Price Will “Just Explode… in the Blink of an Eye” - 14th April 19
Palladium, Darling of the PGEs, Shifting into High Gear - 13th April 19
MMT is a spectacularly Dem idea - 13th April 19
The 'Silver Lines' of Opportunity - 13th April 19
Gold Stocks Bull Market Breakout Potential - 13th April 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Top 10 AI Stocks Investing to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend

Syria Appeals For More Foreign Oil Money Yet Bureaucracy Remains A Questionable Obstacle

Commodities / Crude Oil May 05, 2010 - 01:24 AM GMT

By: OilPrice_Com

Commodities Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAs Syria aggressively courts foreign investors to rescue its dwindling oil and gas sector, government corruption and problems settling disputes remain sticking points for some interested international players. But experts are divided over how contentious these obstacles truly are.


Foreign oil firms face “some bureaucracy” in the petroleum industry but the situation has improved quite a bit, said Hisham Yazigi, a 30-year veteran of the Syrian oil industry. Yazigi argued there is no “major hindrance for investment” since Syria’s national petroleum company now has the expertise to deal with international capital.

In the past, Syria has “honored” all of its financial obligations to oil-producing firms, “otherwise, Royal Dutch Shell and Total, believe me, they won’t be there,” said Yazigi, now retired. He was the former deputy general manager of Royal Dutch Shell and the general manager of Petro-Canada in Syria. He added that he is not a spokesman for the government.

Yet Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, argued the country’s legal structures must be reformed. The government must fix problems associated with resolving disputes and a court system that “doesn’t work very well,” he said. While Syria is drawing more foreign investment than in previous years – mainly from Persian Gulf countries -- “it’s still among the lowest in the Middle East” due to corruption, he said.

Earlier this month, the Syrian government announced that oil production will likely rise this year following 13 years of steady decline. Under the plan, eight new blocks will be opened for exploration, development and production, with international companies invited to bid for production-sharing agreements before a September 15 deadline.

Oil production in Syria currently stands at around 383,000 barrels per day, below the all-time high of 583,000 barrels per day reached in 1993, according to an April report issued by the Oxford Business Group.

The Damascus government is now more assertively marketing its oil fields because it’s “running out of oil and that’s how the regime funds itself,” Tabler told OilPrice.com. “So it’s a matter of survival for them, for the regime, that is.”

Syria has also sought to restore previous contracts with the northern Iraqi government in an effort to be a transport hub moving product to ports and terminals in Turkey, noted Molly Williamson, a consultant and scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington focused on Middle East and energy issues.

The Syrian government has issued international tenders a few times before. The last time was three years ago, Yazigi noted. The oil firms, however, failed to produce appropriate letters of guarantee needed to sign the contracts, he recalled.

Damascus’ latest bid to reverse its petroleum fortunes will mainly draw European companies, but “China is, as you know, very much interested in every possible energy project,” Yazigi said. “I know of some American companies interested -- seriously interested -- in taking advantage of the situation. But the sanctions . . . the American government has imposed on Syria may hinder that pursuit.” He declined to name the firms.

Tabler said he has not heard of any U.S. firms expressing interest because the oil environment is “very murky and the corruption is rampant” in Syria.

Syria’s energy sector has attracted $3 billion of foreign investment, the Oxford Business Group report notes, adding that international money will likely be funnelled first into expanding refinery capacity. Several major international oil companies have begun operations in the country, including Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Gulfsands Petroleum, Tatneft and ONGC Videsh, the report states. Syria’s General Petroleum Corp. has also worked with the China National Petroleum Corp.

Inviting foreign investment into the Syrian oil sector will be vital to secure a “sustained renaissance” in production levels, the report adds. Fellow Arab League member Oman managed to turn around its own decline in 2008 through the development of smaller fields and the use of enhanced oil recovery techniques on existing fields.

For now, U.S. firms are shut out from Syria’s latest block exploration. The Obama administration has decided to install a new ambassador to Syria following a five-year absence, but export sanctions barring the country from access to most forms of American aid and U.S. military equipment remain.

Washington recalled its ambassador from Damascus five years ago following the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. A United Nations special tribunal reported links between Damascus and Hariri's assassination.

Two congressmen, Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York, and Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, introduced a resolution last week advocating rigid enforcement of sanctions and other diplomatic penalties as allegations emerged that Syria gave Lebanon’s Hezbollah long-range Scud missiles from Iran. Engel urged President Obama to reconsider naming a new ambassador.
Source:

Source: http://oilprice.com/..

By Fawzia Sheikh for Oilprice.com who focus on Fossil Fuels, Alternative Energy, Metals, Crude Oil Prices and Geopolitics. To find out more visit their website at: http://www.oilprice.com

© 2010 Copyright OilPrice.com- All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules