Syrian oil at a trickle for Gulfsands

LONDON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Oil production in Syria by London-listed Gulfsands Petroleum is down nearly 20,000 barrels per day at the request of the government, the company said.

Gulfsands Petroleum said it was ordered by the Syrian Oil Ministry in September to reduce production because of the reduced availability of crude storage capacity in the country.


Damascus hasn't been able to get around economic sanctions imposed by Western powers in response to the regime's crackdown on the opposition. Other companies, such as Royal Dutch Shell and French supermajor Total, were ordered to cut back on production as well.

Consequently, Gulfsands said that, as of Monday, gross production was approximately 6,000 barrels of oil per day. Production in August averaged 24,112 bpd.

The company, in its six-month earnings statement, said "uncertainty exists" in Syria because of sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union. The Canadian government this week began the latest to sanction Syria's energy sector.

Gulfsands, operating in Syria since 2000, said in August that it was halting payments to Rami Makhlouf, a first cousin of Assad, and suspended his voting rights in the company. The company said activity at some of its exploration wells was continuing as normal.


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