Syria’s petroleum ministry awarded three exploration and production contracts for Blocks 7, 19 and 23 to two unknown Russian companies at the 61st Damascus International Fair this week in the capital.

“We have signed three contracts with Russian companies in the domain of survey, drill and production in the oil and gas sectors in the central and eastern regions of Syria,” Minister of Petroleum Ali Ghanem says.

Information on the two firms at hand – named as Mercury...