Fri May 20, 2016 05:46PM
Russia’s Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak says Syria has asked several Russian companies to participate in projects to develop its oil and gas industry.
Russia’s Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak says Syria has asked several Russian companies to participate in projects to develop its oil and gas industry.

Russia’s Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Friday that the country’s energy companies have received requests from Syria to help rebuild the country’s oil and gas industry.

Novak said the companies that have been invited to Russia include Lukoil, Gazprom Neft and Zarubezhneft.

"Syria has asked our companies to participate in rebuilding oil and gas projects, infrastructure development, and pipeline construction,” Russia Today has quoted Novak as telling journalists. He has further added that the companies are currently studying the proposals presented by Damascus.

Syria has already asked Russia to participate in exploring and developing oil and gas on land and offshore. Russia was invited to upgrade the Baniyas refinery and construct a refinery with Iran and Venezuela, RT added. 

Damascus and Moscow have signed nearly a billion dollars worth of agreements to rebuild the war-torn country, said Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader Halqi. That followed Syrian President Bashar Assad’s invitation to Russian companies to participate in rebuilding homes in Syria.

The two countries intend to develop energy, trade, finance and other sectors of the economy.

Halqi also said Russian companies will be given priority in rebuilding Syria. According to him, many Russian companies are already operating in Syria, including those engaged in offshore exploration.

The media reported in February that Syria has already started measures to hand over the Syrian energy sector to Russian companies, led by a law on partnership between the private sector and foreign companies issued in early 2016.

This followed the signing of agreement by President Bashar al-Assad during his visit to Moscow which gives Russia the right to freely operate in Syria.