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Suncor declares force majeure in Syria

Canadian firm exits As EU sanctions begin to bite

Suncor has shut the taps as sanctions and security problems render work impossible. GETTY IMAGES
Suncor has shut the taps as sanctions and security problems render work impossible. GETTY IMAGES

Suncor, a Canadian firm energy independent, yesterday declared force majeure on its oil contracts in Syria, due to the latest sanctions imposed by the European Union on 2 December.

The move was thought to be inevitable as Syria’s state-owned General Petroleum Company – which manages contractual relations between the state and foreign oil companies – was added to a blacklist in the latest sanctions round.

“The company is working through a plan to safely withdraw its expatriates while retaining its Syrian employees and determining how we can best support Syrian employees during this extremely difficult time for their country,” the company said in a statement.

In addition to sanctions, the security situation in the country has degenerated further, with an attack on the main pipeline from the north fields to refineries at Homs attacked last week. 

Management is not changing total production guidance (2011 or 2012) because Libyan production is ramping up and was not included in the existing guidance.

"We've been monitoring developments in the region very closely during the last several months, and we've always been clear that we would comply with all relevant sanctions imposed on the country," said CEO Rick George in a company statement. "The current situation in Syria is very concerning, and our thoughts are with the Syrian people as we hope for a return to peace as soon as possible."

Total and Shell have suspended Syrian operations, but no suspension by Gulfsands Petroleum has yet been announced.

 

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