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Syria: ConocoPhillips to depart after latest project

06 May 2005

ConocoPhillips is planning to leave Syria at the end of the year once ongoing work is completed, the Chairman and Chief Executive James Mulva suggested yesterday. "Basically our strategy in Syria is to complete our project and have no more investment," he said. The move reflects a souring investment climate as the Bush administration cranks up pressure on the country. Devon Energy also said earlier this year that it plans to sell its stake in a Syrian oil-development project because of increasing hurdles to conducting business there. The US sanctions against Syria, put in place since 2004 limit the use of certain types of technology, including seismic equipment, Devon said at the time. "We work closely with the US government," Mulva said. "Although I wouldn't say we've been pressured." The sanctions were imposed over Syria's pursuing weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, and undermining the United States and international efforts with respect to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq, and erstwhile occupation of Lebanon, according to an executive order signed by President George W. Bush.

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