By Francois Murphy and Muriel Boselli
Possible Franco-Syrian construction, plane deals mentioned ahead of Sarkozy visit.
French oil major Total is in talks over expanding its oil blocks in Syria ahead of a visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday and Thursday, Total said on Tuesday.
"We are finalising talks with Syria on the extension of an oil and gas production permit at Deir Ez-Zor," a Total spokeswoman said, adding that the group's chief executive Christophe de Margerie would take part in the trip.
Total produces a total of 15,000 barrels per day of crude oil in the country, out of the company's total of 2.4 million barrels per day worldwide.
"There will probably be contracts signed," said an official close to Sarkozy, referring to the Total talks, while a source close to the matter said: "The extension of the Deir Ez-Zor permit is for ten years."
The official also said European planemaker Airbus and Syrianair were in talks over a possible deal, but no transaction was imminent.
French construction group Vinci was also involved in a possible contract at Damascus airport, added the official. (Reuters)