Gulfsands (120)


Production from Gulfsands Petroleum’s main asset in Syria remained at 20,000 barrels per day last year, according to its 2020 annual report in which the company said plans to return to the country continued “at pace”.


Prominent UK-based Syrian investor Ayman Asfari has sold his share in Gulfsands Petroleum to an investment firm owned by a Russian businessman, which now holds a controlling stake in the company.


More details have emerged about an American company which appears to have won exclusive rights to develop and market oil produced in northeastern Syria after obtaining a sanctions waiver from the U.S. government.


An American company has signed a contract with the Syrian Democratic Forces to develop oil production and marketing in northeastern Syria and has received a sanctions waiver from the U.S. administration.


The rise of Rami Makhlouf as Syria’s most prominent businessman coincided with the ascent to power of Bashar Al-Assad in 2000. Given his long history of influence within the ruling elite, Mr Makhlouf’s recent side-lining raises many questions about the potential implications of his fall from grace.


This article is an updated and expanded factsheet on the economic and business relations between Syria and Russia as of April 2020.


In an update on its operations, the Syrian Petroleum Company says that various oil fields restarted production this year across the country.


In this 2,600-word factsheet we look at China’s economic interests in Syria.


A British petroleum company has confirmed that oil continues to be extracted from its fields in northern Syria despite western sanctions.


A Lebanese media close to the Syrian regime has provided an estimate for the oil production in the Kurdish-controlled part of the country.


The Syrian government has revised upward its end-of-year targets for oil, gas and phosphate production.


A British oil company that has rights over oil fields located in northeast Syria has said that production at these fields has increased significantly since the beginning of the year although it receives no revenues from them.


On April 26, regime forces took back the large Shaer gas field and are now in control of most of Syria’s main gas reserves even though production is not expected to restart before months.


Al-Mashreq, the investment arm of Rami Makhlouf, Syria’s most prominent business tycoon, has taken to court Gulfsands Petroleum over claims that its share in the UK-based oil company has been diluted.


Ayman Asfari, one of Syria’s wealthiest individuals, has reportedly bought a significant stake in a company with significant oil assets in Syria and which includes among its other shareholders one of the regime's most powerful business tycoons.


Syria’s Kurdish regions are producing an average of 40,000 barrels of crude oil per day, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.


Soyuzneftegaz, a Russian oil and gas company, is raising its involvement in Syria’s energy sector by increasing its stake in an oil company that has sizeable assets in the country.


Gas and oil facilities located in Syria’s eastern region were hit last week leading to a decline in electricity production in the area.


For the first time in years Gulfsands Petroleum derived no revenues from its Syria operations in 2012, the company's chairman said in a note to shareholders.


Hungary’s MOL, which is a strategic shareholder of INA Naftaplin, a Croatian oil company with assets in Syria, said that operations in its Syrian fields were continuing, calling them illegal.


Total’s production of oil and gas in Syria rose 35 percent last year on the back of rising gas output before international sanctions forced the French company to suspend all activities.


The Syrian Government has reportedly decided to allocate a percentage of the revenues of oil companies to the development of the Governorates in which these companies are located, the first time this type of measure is adopted in Syria.


Croatia’s INA Naftaplin has announced that it was reviewing the situation of its investment in central gas fields in Syria after the decision of the Croatian Government to impose sanctions on the country’s oil sector.


Updated February 6: Gulfsands Petroleum has said that drilling operations in the Khurbet East 102 well had encountered oil and gas with total recoverable reserves estimated at around 19.2 million barrels of oil equivalent and that it would now stop all activities in Syria.


The European Union and Canada have expanded the blacklists of Syrian individuals and entities they are sanctioning on the back of the handling by the Syrian authorities of the popular uprising gripping the country.


Russia’s Tatneft has become the latest oil company to announce the suspension of its operations in Syria.


Gulfsands Petroleum has announced that it was continuing exploration works in Syria only a few days after announcing its suspension of production activity.


Kulczyk Oil Ventures has announced that the initial exploration period for Block 9 has been extended 11 months by the Syrian Government.


Suncor Energy and Gulfsands Petroleum have announced that they were suspending their operations in Syria in light of the latest sanctions announced by the European Union.


Total of France has stopped oil production in Syria in compliance with recent EU sanctions as a growing number of international companies operating in the country are considering taking similar steps.


The international community has continued to raise the heat on the Syrian Government through new economic sanctions with Turkey joining in and the EU announcing new significant measures.


Syria produced an average of 378,091 barrels of crude oil per day in the first nine months of the year, according to the Ministry of Oil, as international sanctions led to a reduction in output in the third quarter.


Total of France has become the latest oil company operating in Syria to acknowledge that it had stopped receiving payments from the Syrian Government for its crude exports.


Gulfsands Petroleum has announced that it has not received payment for its August production, raising fears for the company's prospects as well as for the government's finances.


Loon Lattakia, the Syrian subsidiary of Kulczyk Oil, a Canadian-Polish independent oil company, has announced that it is suspending exploration works in Block 9.


Gulfsands Petroleum has announced that the Syrian government has asked it to lower its production even further, confirming the difficulties the Syrian authorities still have in the marketing of their oil.


INA Naftaplin, a Croatian oil company, has become the latest firm to announce a reduction in production in its Syrian fields as the government faces difficulties finding buyers for its crude.


In a widely expected move,  on Friday the European Union imposed a ban on all new investments in the Syrian oil industry, although existing operations will not have to be discontinued.


The Syrian government has extended for a second time a bidding round for exploration in its offshore waters as Europe readies an investment ban on the oil sector.


The four businessmen and three corporations sanctioned by the European Union last week form part of a growing list of business actors that are feeling the weight of the international pressure on Syria.


Gulfsands Petroleum, a UK-based oil company, has disclosed its ties to Rami Makhlouf, a prominent local businessman recently put under sanctions by the European Union.


There are currently just under two dozen international companies operating in the Syrian oil industry from the exploration and production sectors to related services. The companies are listed below.


There are currently just under two dozen international companies operating in the Syrian oil industry from the exploration and production sectors to related services. The companies are listed below.


Updated August 22: IPR, an independent oil and gas company based in the United States, has said that it made a modest new discovery in Block 24 with a flow rate of 100 barrels of oil and 10 million cubic feet of natural gas a day.


A new round of sanctions announced last week on Syrian corporations and individuals, as well as hints that western countries may move against Syria’s oil industry, raise questions as to the impact these measures may have on the economy and the manner in which the regime is handling the country's popular revolt.


Gulfsands Petroleum has announced that a new well in its Khurbet east find tested at a flow rate of 5,516 barrels of oil per day as the company commissioned a new production facility.


Syria’s production of crude oil remained stable in the first half of this year at 387,250 barrels a day, an increase of 957 barrels a day compared with the same period of last year, according to the Ministry of Petroleum.


Loon Lattakia, a partially-owned subsidiary of Kulczyk Oil, and Gulfsands Petroleum are drilling new wells in Blocks 9 and 26 located in the northwest and northeast parts of the country.


Gulfsands Petroleum said it had failed to find oil in commercially viable quantities in the Abu Ghazal-1 well and that it was stopping works there.


Syria awarded an exploration license on Block 7, located in the northeast of the country, to HBS, a Tunisian oil company.