China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has struck a US$108 million oil exploration and production deal in Syria.
China's oil majors are tapping into overseas resources to supplement the country's modest domestic reserves which will not be able to satisfy its fast-growing energy needs.
The CNPC deal follows closely the Kazakhstan oilfield investment announcements by China's dominant offshore producer CNOOC and China Petrochemical.
CNPC will invest US$3.5 million to develop the Kebibe field in north-eastern Syria on a two-year trial, Reuters reported.
In the second phase CNPC will add another US$104.5 million to raise the field's production volume from 4,500 barrels per day to 10,000.
A CNPC-run news Web site said the deal was the first tender won by a Chinese company in the Middle East oil sector.
CNPC's only other significant investment in the region's oil sector is a US$500 million deal signed in 1997 to develop an Iraqi field with daily output of 90,000 barrels.