Syrian opposition ( SNC) rejects regime-Russia oil deal

russia syria ink oil dealThe opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) rejected Thursday an oil and gas exploration deal Damascus signed the day before with a Russian company, linking it to arms deals.

“The Coalition condemns the signing of this deal, which aims to swap the riches of our homeland for Russian weapons destined to kill the Syrian people,” a statement said.

Russia, one of President Bashar Assad’s strongest international backers received its Christmas present from Syria on Wednesday.

Syria’s state news agency reported that Syrian Oil Minister Suleiman Abbas and Syria’s General Petroleum Company have signed a deal with Russian oil and gas company Soyuzneftegaz to explore in the Mediterranean Sea.

Most of Syria’s oil and gas fields are in the north east of the country which is under opposition control and the country’s oil exports almost have stopped.

The contract “is the first ever for oil and gas exploration in Syria’s waters,” head of the General Petroleum Company Ali Abbas told AFP.

The deal permits the exploration of an area of 2,190 square kilometres (850 square miles) in the Mediterranean.

“The Russian firm agreeing one of the most important contracts in the region with the criminal regime while fighting rages unabated is proof that the Russian government has signed a deal to send more arms to kill Syrians,” SNC said.

putin assad, cartoon“The Russian government is an accomplice in the spilling of Syrian blood through its support for the Assad regime, the main source of international terrorism,” the statement added.

Abbas said during Wednesday’s signing ceremony that the contract covers “25 years, over several phases,” adding that “the cost of exploration and discovery is $100 million (73 million euros)”.

General Petroleum Co head Ali Abbas told AFP: “It will be financed by Russia, and should oil and gas be discovered in commercial quantities, Moscow will recover the exploration costs.”

Hard-hit by international sanctions, Syria’s oil production has plummeted by 90 percent since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

The deal was reportedly worked out in August 012 during a visit to Russia by a Syrian delegation headed by Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil. On August 3, 2012 Jamil also told reporters that an agreement had been reached for Syria to export crude to Russia in exchange for refined oil products.

But Jamil was dismissed last October for talking with the US

Syria is one of Russia’s last Middle East footholds and hosts a base for the Russian navy on its coast. Russia has adamantly opposed any foreign intervention in the country, though Moscow says it is not tied to Assad.
Soyuzneftegaz is a Russian oil and gas company. It is headed by Russia’s former energy minister Yuri Shafranik. The main shareholder is the Central Bank of Russia.

Photo: Syrian Oil Minister Suleiman Abbas and Syria’s General Petroleum Company during the signing of a deal with Russian oil and gas company Soyuzneftegaz for offshore oil drilling, development and production in block no. 2 of Syria’s territorial waters in the Mediterranean Sea. SANA

NOW/AFP

  • Prophettttt

    I have noticed that a senior member of this community -and a true landmark like- has gone missing.
    5thDrawer has not been on this forum for more than 5 days,and that is really unlike him. I hope he is well.
    I would like to think that He is on vacation,enjoying some beach out there ,and sipping on his favorite single malt scotch.

    • 5thDrawer

      My Dear Prophetttt : I am flattered that someone thinks of me – enough to note the absence.
      Thank you. 🙂
      But as much as the beach and a single malt would have been a preference, I was having to deal with one of my favourite theories about survival of species, in this ‘modern’ world of ‘advanced electronics’, when Mother Nature intervenes with an Ice Storm and eliminates electricity from a population not accustomed to even being without a cell-phone … let alone without heat at -15C.
      Some couldn’t even fry the grasshoppers stored in the freezers – although I did well enough, in saving my body for a wonderful shower when power was finally restored and I could peel off the layers.
      :-)))
      Let’s say it all made for a unique, and hopefully singular, Christmas for at least 350,000 people – 48,000 of which are still waiting for that shower as I write.
      The great interest in the effects of minor disasters on populations are not lost here. And you may imagine some of the bitching at politicians that is going on because of it – and the ‘light’ experiences visited upon this crowd, compared to, say, Tripolian-Lebanese, in only a few days of electrical down-time and not months. :-)))))
      I did fine – a little uncomfortably. Just couldn’t ‘reach out’ for a while – except with an OLD dial-phone I keep handy, and a land-line to people who have kept the same … which is precious few it seems, along with those who don’t own a really good coat because they jump from warm apartments to warm cars to warm stores … expecting that gas stations can always pump gas. :-))

      I am now catching up on ‘world news’ (see it isn’t getting better), but have yet to read poor Igor’s notes on me and the ‘survivalist’ theories. Tell him I still have some of the single malt – because it is actually not good to drink anti-freeze when trying to keep heat in.

      For now, I AM back. :-))

      • Greetings 5th, glad you are ok even though you had a few lousy days but as you can see you did not miss much and so far the prophettttt and myself survived the beheadings 🙂 please overlook comments by those who refuse to take their medication and enjoy the comments posted by someone with looks, brains, and a passionate heart….welcome back my brother.

        • 5thDrawer

          Thank you too Geo. 🙂 And the lovely Ms. Hind. 🙂 Happy you are all still with ‘us’.
          And I would have said ‘Merry Christmas’ if I could have. :-))

          • Hind Abyad

            On your left.. see? Igor the warning.

          • 5thDrawer

            As with the ‘514’ thing … ignore it. 😉

          • But I was referring to my great looks and brain 🙁 Damn!!

          • 5thDrawer

            Hehehehehe … I suspected … but should have been the parrot, right? 😉
            (No .. I’m not being ungrateful … love the word games. :-))

          • lol, As much hair as I lost this week I am plucking their feathers and gluing it on my head.

          • 5thDrawer

            Wearing a toque 24/7 doesn’t do much for hair either. :-)))))

      • Hind Abyad

        The intellectual one drawer..nice change from the irrational haters..reelii..
        Just now i read a post warning me about you..could not understand.
        Hope you had a nice Christmass.

        • 5thDrawer

          Well Hind, it was actually no ‘usual’ Christmas … as such … although a niece managed a ‘turkey gathering’ a day late when her lights returned earlier than some. 🙂 Friends and family working together can make it ‘better than thought possible’ of course. In that sense, it was nice.
          Being capable of looking after yourself (as I like to think I can) doesn’t mean you need to ignore others. And little events like this show you how important that is to everyone in a society. I think many have experienced some ‘true meaning’ in this event, even if some kids didn’t notice Santa’s arrival on the right day, and I hope yours was good for you too. 🙂

          • Peaceforleb

            Hey 5th, welcome back my friend. I must say you were missed by most of us. Libnan had a bad hangover on Christmas day. To much Arak the night before. I advised him to hit the coffee and if that doesn’t work, then hit the Arak again. I also advised that the beat person to ask would be you. Lol. Anyway, Merry Christmas and a Happy new year to you and the family. Glad you ok. :)))))

          • 5thDrawer

            Wow Peace .. sorry I missed the advice column to Libnan .. I see I have a lot of ‘catching up’ to do. Thanks. :-)))

          • 5thDrawer

            This one for Libnan … 😉
            I don’t put a good single malt in coffee ….

      • Prophettttt

        WB 5th, Glad you’re ok. I may have been too quick in issuing an alert. It seemed as strange not to see you on this forum as looking at Manhattan’s skyline without seeing the Empire State building.I ‘m sure you have survived so many ordeals in life,and now you can add one more to your diary,and I definitely wish you many more years to come,with all the ordeals -of which I am sure you will survive-that come with them

        Happy new year.

  • Prophettttt

    I have noticed that a senior member of these community,and a true landmark like, has gone missing.
    5th drawer has not been on this forum for more than 5 days. It is really unlike him. I hope he is well.I would like to think that He is on vacation,enjoying some beach out there ,and sipping on his favorite single malt scotch.

    • 5thDrawer

      My Dear Prophetttt : I am flattered that someone thinks of me – enough to note the absence.
      Thank you. 🙂
      But as much as the beach and a single malt would have been a preference, I was having to deal with one of my favourite theories about survival of species, in this ‘modern’ world of ‘advanced electronics’, when Mother Nature intervenes with an Ice Storm and eliminates electricity from a population not accustomed to even being without a cell-phone … let alone without heat at -15C.
      Some couldn’t even fry the grasshoppers stored in the freezers – although I did well enough, in saving my body for a wonderful shower when power was finally restored and I could peel off the layers.
      :-)))
      Let’s say it all made for a unique, and hopefully singular, Christmas for at least 350,000 people – 48,000 of which are still waiting for that shower as I write.
      The great interest in the effects of minor disasters on populations are not lost here. And you may imagine some of the bitching at politicians that is going on because of it – and the experiences visited upon this crowd, compared to, say, Tripolian-Lebanese, in only a few days of electrical down-time and not months. :-)))))
      I did fine – a little uncomfortably. Just couldn’t ‘reach out’ for a while – except with an OLD dial-phone I keep handy, and a land-line to people who have kept the same … which is precious few it seems, along with those who don’t own a really good coat because they jump from warm apartments to warm cars to warm stores … expecting that gas stations can always pump gas. :-))

      I am now catching up on ‘world news’ (see it isn’t getting better), but have yet to read poor Igor’s notes on me and the ‘survivalist’ theories. Tell him I still have some of the single malt – because it is actually not good to drink anti-freeze when trying to keep heat in.

      For now, I AM back. :-))

      • Greetings 5th, glad you are ok even though you had a few lousy days but as you can see you did not miss much and so far the prophettttt and myself survived the beheadings 🙂 please overlook comments by those who refuse to take their medication and enjoy the comments posted by someone with looks, brains, and a passionate heart….welcome back my brother.

        • 5thDrawer

          Thank you too Geo. 🙂 And the lovely Ms. Hind. 🙂 Happy you are all still with us.

          • Hind Abyad

            On your left.. see? Igor the warning.

          • 5thDrawer

            As with the ‘514’ thing … ignore it. 😉

          • But I was referring to my great looks and brain 🙁 Damn!!

          • 5thDrawer

            Hehehehehe … I suspected … but should have been the parrot, right? 😉

          • lol, As much hair as I lost this week I am plucking their feathers and gluing it on my head.

          • 5thDrawer

            Wearing a toque 24/7 doesn’t do much for hair either. :-)))))

      • Hind Abyad

        The intelectual one drawer..nice change from the irrational haters..reelii

        • 5thDrawer

          Well Hind, it was actually no ‘usual’ Christmas … as such … although a niece managed a ‘turkey gathering’ a day late when her lights returned earlier than some. 🙂 Friends and family working together can make it ‘better than thought possible’ of course. In that sense, it was nice.
          Being capable of looking after yourself (as I like to think I can) doesn’t mean you need to ignore others. And little events like this show you how important that is to everyone in a society. I think many have experienced some ‘true meaning’ in this event, even if some kids didn’t notice Santa’s arrival on the right day, and I hope yours was good for you too. 🙂

          • Peaceforleb

            Hey 5th, welcome back my friend. I must say you were missed by most of us. Libnan had a bad hangover on Christmas day. To much Arak the night before. I advised him to hit the coffee and if that doesn’t work, then hit the Arak again. I also advised that the beat person to ask would be you. Lol. Anyway, Merry Christmas and a Happy new year to you and the family. Glad you ok. :)))))

          • 5thDrawer

            Wow Peace .. sorry I missed the advice column to Libnan .. I see I have a lot of ‘catching up’ to do. Thanks. :-)))

          • 5thDrawer

            This one for Libnan … 😉

      • Prophettttt

        WB 5th, Glad you’re ok. I may have been too quick in issuing an alert. It seemed as strange not to see you on this forum as looking at Manhattan’s skyline without seeing the Empire State building.I ‘m sure you have survived so many ordeals in life,and now you can add one more to your diary,and I definitely wish you many more years to come,with all the ordeals that that come with them .
        Happy new year.