LONDON, UK: Gulfsands Petroleum plc, the UK Public Limited Company with interests in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, opened of its new Middle Eastern Business Hub in the United Arab Emirates, based in the international financial centre, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).
As part of its expanded profile, Gulfsands is also establishing a MENA-dedicated subsidiary, Gulfsands Middle East Limited (“GMEL”). GMEL’s focus will be on increasing Gulfsands’ presence in the region as part of its goal to become a major MENA-centric energy company.
Gulfsands’ Abu Dhabi office will be led by Mr. Mark Cutis. Mr. Cutis has extensive regional commercial experience having been an active member of the Abu Dhabi business community for 14 years, formerly as Chief Investment Officer for Global Special Situations at the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (“ADIC”). He was also Group CFO and Chief Adviser at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (“ADNOC”), as well as, more recently, Chief Executive at ADGM.
One of Gulfsands’ objectives of establishing itself in Abu Dhabi is the aspiration to contribute meaningfully to the regional political discussion surrounding Syria. Gulfsands hopes that its physical presence in the region will help it to structure and target its Syrian initiatives appropriately, taking into account the views of local stakeholders and, in doing so, galvanise regional support for such initiatives.
Gulfsands remains committed to supporting work by the international community to deliver a long-term solution to the situation in Syria, where its world class asset, Block 26, remains in force majeure. Gulfsands is eager to work with all stakeholders, including those regional neighbours closely affected by the ongoing conflict, to try to find a way whereby Syria’s energy resources can be used as a catalyst to bring relief to all Syrian people, after more than 11 years of devastating conflict.
Having recently eliminated all legacy liabilities arising from prior oil and gas ventures, most notably in Colombia, Gulfsands is also looking to capitalise on its local presence in Abu Dhabi to step up business development activities in the MENA region.
Mr. John Bell, Gulfsands Managing Director, and also Director of GMEL, commented “We are very excited to be finally establishing a presence in the Gulf which has been a long sought-after objective of the Group. We are delighted to welcome Mark on board as we press ahead with business development across the region, as well as our initiatives that will hopefully allow us to restart our operations in Syria, for the benefit of all Syrians.
With respect to Syria, we remain committed to compliance with all relevant sanctions and continue to support and uphold international protocols such as UNSCR 2254. We also believe that a regionally led initiative to harness the power of Syria’s natural resource endowment for the good of all the Syrian people is a viable way forward for Syria. Our newly established presence in Abu Dhabi demonstrates our commitment to ensuring engagement with regional stakeholders to help navigate this complex multi-tiered political and humanitarian landscape.”