The Associated Press reports that Syria's oil ministry has signed a deal with Russian oil and gas company Soyuzneftegaz to explore in the Mediterranean Sea off the Syrian coast.
In October 2004 Soyuzneftegaz won a tender in Syria for the onshore Blocks 12 and 14 near the Iraqi border. In 2006, the company decided not to continue with the development of Block 14, but continued work on Block 12. In 2005, Soyuzneftegaz acquired a 50% working interest in Block 26 in the northeast of Syria through its wholly owned subsidiary SNG Overseas. Later that year, SNG Overseas was bought by the UK-based oil company Emerald Energy.
In 2005, Soyuzneftegaz acquired one of Russia's largest drilling companies, Sibirskaya Servisnaya Kompaniya.