Iran, Syria and Venezuela are to construct an oil refinery in Syria’s Homs governorate, following the signing of a landmark agreement last week.
In an interview with Iran’s Fars News Agency on 25 September, Deputy Oil Minister Jalil Salari revealed that the tripartite deal will see the construction of “a new 140,000-barrel refinery,” with oil-producing Iran and Venezuela providing the required natural resources.
“The [relevant] fundamental studies and designing process [for implementation of the project] has been completed,” the official noted, adding that the financing and construction [phases of the project] are on the agenda.”
Salari also disclosed that during Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Syria in May, the existing Homs refinery was repaired by Iranian engineers and that the studies for the new refinery were conducted by an expert team from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
All three countries have faced severe US-imposed sanctions and, in response, have increased cooperation in joint efforts to bypass the sanctions and boost oil production.
In June, Caracas resumed work at the El Palito oil refinery, which is undergoing major repair and expansion work as part of a deal worth over $105 million signed with National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC).
In February, Reuters reported that NIORDC and Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) will start work on revamping the South American country’s largest refining complex in Paraguana.
According to the Cradle, the new refinery in Homs will help Syria in boosting its oil production levels, as the country has lost over $100 billion in revenues since the start of the war and the ongoing oil theft campaign led by the US occupation army.