TEHRAN, (Reuters) – An Iran-Venezuela joint oil company plans to build a refinery in Syria as its first international venture with a capacity of 140,000 barrels of oil per day, Iran’s Oil Ministry website SHANA reported on Tuesday.
“The construction of a refinery in Syria has been foreseen as the two countries’ first joint international activity,” said Mohammad-Ali Talebi, a senior official at Petropars Oil and Gas Company.
Talebi said Iran would hold a 26 percent stake in the project while its Latin American ally would take 33 percent. “The balance will be shared by Malaysia and Syria on a 15 and 26 percent basis,” he added.
Iran and Venezuela are close political and economic allies. They work in tandem within OPEC and have signed an array of agreements both within the oil and gas sector and in other vital industrial fields.
They signed a number of cooperation agreements in the fields of oil and trade earlier this month at the end of a visit by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran.
“With the goal of more focus on international oil and gas projects and to compete with foreign companies, Iran and Venezuela jointly set up the VENIROGC company,” Talebi said.
VENIROGC had been “set up on an equal footing by the two countries and that the company cannot undertake any projects in either of the two countries”.
Iran and Venezuela will supply 20 and 30 percent of the refinery’s heavy crude feedstock respectively and Syria will supply the balance. The report did not give the estimated cost of the project nor when the construction would be launched.