Saudi Aramco has begun exploring oil fields in Syria’s northeastern province of Deir ez-Zor, and the company’s official delegates have just visited the areas formally located in the zone of responsibility of the United States.
Experts interviewed by Nezavisimaya Gazeta believe that potential presence of Saudi business in Syria’s northeastern region can serve as a positive factor. Riyadh has repeatedly provided active assistance there.
Currently, the oil wells in that part of Syria need specialized upgrading and maintenance. Many were damaged either as a result of hostilities, or intentionally during the retreat of IS and its cohorts.
“Saudi presence in the form of material assistance, which includes the military component, is a reality for the Deir ez-Zor region and the entire east of Syria,” Professor of the Department of Modern East, Department of History, Political Science and Law in RSUH Grigory Kosach told the newspaper.
“In this regard, an additional factor related to the activities of Saudi Aramco in this territory, of course, will be perceived positively at the local level, because earlier this assistance has become a significant help to the population’s survival. I must say that this aid was not limited to the Arab tribes who live there, the Kurds were also included,” he added.
The expert believes that the alleged arrival of the company will create jobs in the northeastern regions of Syria, where there is enormous unemployment. “So I believe that this (possible investment from the Saudi company) will be perceived quite positively by the local population,” said Kosach.
“Aramco, before starting its activity anywhere, always conducts a preliminary study of the place where it is going to work. If the reports by Aramco’s interest are true, then relevant studies have already been carried out, and bridges with the local population have been established. I think in this case we are not talking about an operation associated with a huge share of risk, but, on the contrary, about a well-thought-out operation,” he added.