Gulfsands finds more oil in Syria
Reuters, Tuesday 31 Jan 2012
British firm prevented from exporting oil by sanctions manages to find further untapped reserves in the unrest-torn country's northeast

Oil firm Gulfsands Petroleum said it had found more oil at a well it is drilling in Syria, as its exploration activities in the country continue despite the escalating uprising.

The British company, whose main operations are in Syria, said on Tuesday that the latest well to be drilled on its oil fields in Syria's North East found gas and oil in volumes which matched its expectations.

A study, due to be published in April, would evaluate its total oil reserves, Gulfsands said, adding that recent surveys had positive implications for the amount of oil and gas held in its licence.

Gulfsands said in December it would cease to be involved in production at its oil fields in Syria after sanctions were put in place by the European Union, but that it would continue with its exploration activities until the latest well had been drilled and then assess whether it could safely continue exploring.

A 10-month uprising in Syria against the country's President Bashar al-Assad has entered a new phase in recent weeks, with an increasingly armed and organised opposition attempting to hold territory.

Shares in Gulfsands, which have lost over half their value in the last 12 months, closed at 166.5 pence on Monday, valuing the firm at 196 million pounds ($307 million).