* State-controlled chinese group caught in EU sanctions
* Gulfsands shares fall
By Tom Bergin
LONDON, Dec 12 Chinese state-controlled
Sinochem and UK-listed explorer Gulfsands Petroleum
have shut down their oil operations in Syria following
European Union sanctions related to the crackdown on the
uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad,
Although China has resisted sanctions on Syria, Sinochem is
bound by EU sanctions since it bought its interest in the Syrian
fields by taking over UK-listed Emerald Energy, through which it
still owns the assets, a Gulfsands spokesman said on Monday.
Syrian state-controlled General Petroleum Corporation (GPC)
will continue to produce oil from the fields, in exploration
block 26, the company said in a statement.
Analysts said the further development of the block would be
delayed, postponing expected cashflows from this.
The Syrian fields are the only cash-generating assets
Gulfsands owns, save for a few small interests in the U.S. which
it is selling. However, a spokesman said it had $120 million on
the balance sheet and no debt.
The company said it would retain a presence in Syria.
Sinochem declined immediate comment.
Gulfsands shares, which have lost more than half their value
so far in 2011, were down 7.9 percent at 171.5 pence by 0930
(Reporting by Tom Bergin; Additional reporting by Tresa Sherin
Morera in Bangalore; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)