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Eastern Mediterranean oil reserves attract world companies to explore Syria's water

Offshore gas and oil reserves in the eastern Mediterranean extending from south occupied Palestine to north Syria were the main topics discussed in several recent reports without referring to official information on the Syrian shore.

Here, we would explain the relation between explorations in the Palestinian  water and Syria's reserves besides the situation according to the Syrian exploration plan and data.

Following positive results of gas exploration reached between 2009-2012 in the eastern Mediterranean (opposite to the Palestinian and Cypriot shores), foreign companies attached great importance to the Syrian regional water.

According to the results, reserves of gas reached up to 800 billion square meter in five sites.

In 2005, Seismic survey was carried out for the Syrian marine area covering 5000 km. The area was divided into three tectonic blocks: Levantine Basin, Raas al-Basit, and Lattakia Basin.

The good quantity of gas in Syria was discovered in the Levantine Basin that extends from south occupied Palestine to Lattakia in north and Cyprus in west. The area of the basin is around 55.000 square kilometer.

The US Geological Researches Commission has estimated the reserves in Levantine Basin at 1.7 bln oil barrels, 122 trillion cubic foot of gas, and 3bln barrels of gas capacitors.

Syria's quota is 300mln oil barrel

The recorded numbers cover the  whole basin's reserves , while Syria's quota is 5.6% of the total area. Thus, we can say the Syrian part includes 225 mln/m2 of gas, and about 300mln oil barrel and gas capacitors.

Regarding Lattakia and Cyprus Basin, indicators show possibility of getting oil rather than gas after drilling for them in north areas.

Syria's Oil Ministry followed up the matter to have an idea about Hydro carbonic reserves, and announced a world drilling tender for four blocks of the area 5000km2  in 2007.

The sole tenderer applied was rejected because of dissenting from booklet of conditions.

The decline of oil prices in 2007-2008 to $49/barrel did not encourage world limited companies to apply for the tender.

By the beginning of 2010, a new booklet of conditions was set, and a new drilling tender for three blocks of the area 9000km2 was published on March, 3,2011. But no one applied due to the crisis Syria is going through.

Basma Qaddour

Cabinet approves new decisions, asserting need for direct communication with citizens

DAMASCUS, (S.T)_The cabinet reviewed on Wednesday current economic and services situation,  recent political development,  and national reconciliation.

As for current situation, Prime Minister asserted the necessity to follow up stages of carrying out service and development projects, and to communicate directly with citizens in all provinces to meet their needs. 

Dr. Wael al-Halaqi called on ministers to increase their visits to all Syrian provinces.

Besides, the cabinet approved a bill stipulated for amending articles No.15 and No.22 from the 2008 decree No.45 on setting up National Center of the Distinguished.

It also accepted the Syrian Commerce Chamber's proposal to postpone the election of he Boards of Directors for a year.

As for implementing agricultural plan, the cabinet endorsed a decision to tabulate due decennial interests on loans included in the article No.1 from the 2012 Law No.27 .

The said decision provides for paying loans by equal installments within 10 years. Due date of the first installment is defined a year following issuance of the relevant law.

It also provides for postponing unpaid due decennial interests to be paid with the first installment until September27, 2013 in accordance with the above mentioned law. 

Moreover, the cabinet called upon Health, Higher Education, Interior and Defense Ministries to meet their needs of medicine and equipment through locally manufactured products and to import other medicine and medical equipment that are not manufactured locally only from friendly countries.

For his part, Deputy Premier for Economic Affairs, Dr. Qadri Jamil, stressed that the economic situation is reassuring, noting the measures being adopted by the government to meet local needs of food stuff and petroleum derivatives.

Industry Minister presented a list of low- price goods produced by local establishments to be offered to the displaced people temporary living in governmental shelters across Syria .

In the other hand, the cabinet hailed the sacrifices of the army and the law-enforcement forces and their achievements on the ground to restore security and stability to Syria.

It underlined the importance of cooperation and unity between all spectrums of the Syrian society and the Armed Forces to confront terrorism .



PM chairs meeting on public and private banks' policies

DAMASCUS, (S.T)_The Monday's cabinet meeting focused on opinions and mechanisms that aims at drawing up directives of banking and economic sectors in the current circumstances.

Topped the meeting's agenda were:economic effect on valid profitrate, and how to benefit from the liquidity available in public banks as regards funding economic projects and imports, as well as improving banking services.

The Central Bank of Syria (CBS) was delegated to amend the decision No.597 related to debts.

Prime Minister, Dr.Wael al-Halaqi ,asserted the importance of integration between all economic sectors to back national economy and confront the ongoing challenges that face Syria.

The meeting's attendees were: Presidency Affairs , Finance, Economy and Foreign Trade Ministers, the Cabinet's Secretary, the CBS's Governor, Premier's Advisor for Banking and Monetary Affairs, public banks' Directors, some private banks' Directors, head of the Planning Commission, head of the Syrian Federation of Chambers of Commerce  and representatives of Damascus Industry Chamber .



Bolstering cooperation with Customs Union states stressed




DAMASCUS (SANA)- ” In a bid   to strengthen economic cooperation with the countries of the Customs Union represented by Russia, Belorussia and Kazakhstan, the needed files on signing an economic cooperation with  the Customs  Union have been recently accomplished."  Deputy Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade for the Arab and International Affairs, Dr. Hayan Salman confirmed.

"since the forces of production and the  market demands of these countries are similar, the exchange process will be done according to the principle of  swap or cash" Dr. Salaman stressed calling for reactivating the activities of the commercial attachés operating within the Syrian embassies abroad to be a link with these countries.

Salman said to SANA economic bulletin that the Ministry's Committee in charge is ready for holding meetings with these countries since that the  agreement will be put into force in the near future, adding that the ministry has discussed with the Kazakh and the Belarusian sides some aspects of cooperation .

In this respect, several meetings with some businessmen aiming at re activating the  Russian, Kazakh and  Belarusian joint Council have been held.

Regarding the feasibility of the comprehensive agreement with these countries, Dr. Salman affirmed that the agreement carries a lot of interests for the Syrian side; so there is no need to fear, pointing out that an agreement is carefully set  to join the free zones in this agreement . Lists were also prepared on the needs of the market from the goods that are produced in these countries and can be exported to Syria.

Talking on the importance of the Iraqi market, Salman stressed it as a strategic depth to Syria so there should be exchanges on all levels   between the two countries. Extensive correspondence has been done with the Iraqi side to deepen this cooperation, whether through barter or through monetary exchange.

Amal  Farhat




Special policies being prepared to enhance national production, says Economy Minister

DAMASCUS, (S.T) – Syria's retreat in several world indicators doesn't denote a retreat in national economy, Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade said on Saturday. 

In a press conference held at the Statistics and Planning Directorate, Dr. Mohammad Zafer Mihbek, asserted the significance of drawing up not only research plans for food and non-food items but also policies to increase production and to enhance competitive process in the Syrian economy.

He called for taking feasibility studies into consideration before starting any projects, and applying special policies for protecting nascent industrial projects. 

"It is very important to follow up Syria's rank in the periodical indications of the national and international reports; in addition to analyzing the data and information of these reports in order to inspect the weaknesses and tackle them with the parties concerned," said the minister.  

Meanwhile, Head of the Planning, Survey and Enhancing Competition Department Samar Qsibati, stressed that the ministry's new vision focuses on studying production and marketing of items as economic resources.

"The vision also underlines the importance of linking between supporting production and the crops in a scientific way, and exporting surplus strategic items such as sheep, meat, olive oil, and ready clothes,"said Qsibati.

She cited that the number of international reports by which Syria is listed reaches at 30, including that of  Global Competiveness, the Global Information Technology, the Logistics Performance Index, the Global Innovation Index, Human Development Index, Global Food Security Index and Environmental Performance Index.