Gulfsands Petroleum said Wednesday that, despite sanctions pressure and declaring force majeure, its exploration activity in Syria continues. Gulfsands Petroleum announced this week it declared force majeure for Syrian activity. The company\'s work in Syria was restricted by sanctions pressure and an embargo from the European Union. Western allies are frustrated with Syria\'s crackdown on opposition groups. The United Nations recommended the government be referred to the International Criminal Court. Gulfsands, nevertheless, said it concluded exploration activities at its al-Khairat-1 exploration well, which tested at a preliminary rate of 1,826 barrels of oil per day. Overall, the company estimates there is the potential there for at least 4 million barrels of recoverable oil. The company said the sanctioned Syrian General Petroleum Co. gave it permission to develop parts of its Khurbet East formation, which could hold as much as 8.8 million barrels of oil and 62 billion cubic feet of gas. The company stopped work at Block 26 in Syria\'s Khurbet East and Yousefieh oil fields because of the force majeure. Local staff members are monitoring the field, the company said. \"The group\'s exploration activities in Syria remain ongoing and are not restricted by the recent introduction of additional EU sanctions on oil production activities or of the giving of the force majeure,\" the company said in a statement.