U.S. firm signs oil deal with Syria

Special to World
Monday, December 1, 2003

NICOSIA Syria has signed a contract with a U.S. company as part of an effort to search for additional oil reserves.

The contract calls for the U.S. firm, Veritas, to search for crude oil resources off the Mediterranean coast. The cost of the contract was reported at $4 million.

The contract for the marine survey was signed on Saturday by Syrian Oil Minister Ibrahim Haddad and Veritas chairman Ian Edward. Under the contract, Veritas will have exclusive rights to survey Syrian territorial waters for energy.

The results of the maritime oil survey will be made available to international oil companies for a tender to explore and develop energy resources in the Mediterranean. Haddad said the congressional passage of the Syrian Accountability Act would not affect the contract. President George Bush has not yet signed the legislation into law.

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