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Syria and Turkey to build joint oil exploration company

Syria and Turkey have decided to form a joint oil exploration and development company bolstering the countries’ cooperation in the oil sector, Syrian Oil Minister Sufian al-Alaw said Thursday.

With the project, the two neighboring countries will also cooperate on importing and exporting oil extracts, in addition to setting oil distribution stations in Syria, said al-Alaw, currently part of a high-profile economic delegation visiting Turkey. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, the countries had also discussed the possibility of importing natural gas from nearby Azerbaijan and Iran through a Turkish oil company, in addition to connecting Syria to the Turkish natural gas pipeline network. Syria’s oil production has experienced a decline in the past few years, with output falling to 370,000 barrels per day in 2007, from 380,000 barrels previously. Experts expect the production rate to decrease further in 2008 despite efforts to boost it. (m&