China National Petroleum Corp has acquired a 35% stake in Syria Shell Petroleum Development (SSPD) as part of its bid to secure energy future sources.

SSPD, which is fully owned by Shell, has interests in three production licences including Deir ez-Zor, Fourth Annex and Ash Sham, operated by Al Furat Petroleum.

The licences cover about 40 oilfields. Shell’s share of production from the fields in 2009 was 23,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

China has been aggressively acquiring overseas oil production contracts in an attempt to meet surging energy demand at home.

Syria has estimated gas reserves of 284 billion cubic metres.