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Gulfsands Halts its Operations in Syria

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 12/12/2011, Location: Middle East

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Gulfsands Petroleum plc, the oil and gas production, exploration and Development Company with activities in Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, Italy and the U.S.A., wishes to provide the following update on the European Union's (EU) recent announcement of additional sanctions in relation to Syria. The EU has imposed successive rounds of sanctions on Syria since May this year, the most recent measures being those adopted in the Council Decision of 1 December, as published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 2 December.

Gulfsands and its subsidiaries are subject to these EU sanctions, have at all times complied with them and will continue to comply with them, as from time to time amended. The Directors have taken and will continue to take legal advice and to liaise as appropriate with HM Treasury to this end. The most recent amendment to the sanctions is the inclusion on the designated list of inter alia General Petroleum Corporation (GPC), the Syrian government's principal holding company responsible for investments in the oil and gas sector and coordination of oil and gas production by foreign operating companies.

Pursuant to the Block 26 Production Sharing Agreement (the PSC), GPC is the Syrian government's representative and effectively the Group's partner in the production of oil from Block 26. This is the case for all foreign companies operating in Syria, several of which are also subject to the EU sanctions. The fundamental effect of the additional sanctions is to preclude the Group, until further notice, from engaging in activities, including funding activities, connected with the production, delivery or sale of crude oil from its Block 26 fields.

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