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Syria: Drilling for oil while Hama burns

Maintaining the status quo in Syria’s oil industry is not an option while the Assad regime uses this critical resource to suppress protest

AS PROTESTERS die every day and the international community considers further measures to isolate the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, it is business as usual in Syria’s oil industry and for its international operators. All the normal corporate cogs have remained in motion the last few months – press releases, option calls, reverse take-overs and so on. Within the last month, London-listed Gulfsands Petroleum has announced the discovery of new oil reservoirs and increased production; while Calgary-based Kulczyk Oil Ventures began drilling on an exploration block about half an hour’s drive from the city of Hama – where Syrian army tanks occupy the middle of the city and more than 100 pr

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