ANKARA, (Reuters) – Turkey and Syria’s state owned oil companies will establish a joint firm this year to develop their oilfields, the head of Turkey’s state oil company TPAO told Reuters.
“The completion of the company’s establishment is targeted for 2008. The purpose of the company is to produce oil from fields in Syria, Turkey and third countries,” said TPAO general manager Mehmet Uysal.
He added the company will first look for production opportunities in Syria before Turkey and third countries.
Private sector energy experts say they are still trying to determine the extent of Syria’s oilfields. Existing fields are in need of investment for development.
TPAO plans on exploring extensively in the Black Sea, where it already has operations, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea.
Uysal also said Turkey, during Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s trip to Iraq earlier this month, won approval to form a consortium to bid for oil exploration rights in Iraq.
“We have ongoing talks to make an deal with Royal Dutch Shell regarding exploration,” said Uysal.
Iraq’s oil ministry has finished negotiations with oil majors on six short-term oil service contracts and hopes to sign the deals in July.
In the absence of a long-delayed national oil law, Baghdad has been negotiating short-term technical service contracts. The deals are worth around $500 million each.
Five of the deals that have been under discussion are with Royal Dutch Shell, Shell in partnership with BHP Billiton, BP, Exxon Mobil and Chevron in partnership with Total.