Drilling Update in Syria

Immediate Release 21 January 2010 GULFSANDS PETROLEUM PLC OPERATIONS UPDATE: Khurbet East-14 Delineation Well Flows Oil to Surface Indicating a Deeper Field Oil-Down-To ("ODT") Depth Khurbet East-13 Well Commences Production Zaman-1 Exploration Well Spudded London, 21st January 2010:  Gulfsands Petroleum plc ("Gulfsands", the "Group" or the "Company" - AIM: GPX), the oil and gas production, exploration and development company with activities in Syria, Iraq, and the U.S.A., is pleased to provide the following update on the Company's operations at Block 26, Syria, where Gulfsands holds a 50% interest and acts as operator. Khurbet East-14 Delineation Well Intersects Oil Column and Flows Oil to Surface The Khurbet East ("KHE")-14 delineation well, located approximately 1 kilometre north of delineation well KHE-12 and approximately 4.9 kilometres south of the KHE-1 discovery well, was drilled to a total depth of 2045 metres measured depth ("MD") and 1626 metres true vertical depth below mean sea level ("TVD SS") with the primary objective being to intersect the oil-water contact in the Khurbet East field. The well encountered the top of the Cretaceous Massive Formation at a measured depth ("MD") of 1988 metres (1571 metres TVD SS) and the preliminary interpretation of drilling data and wireline logs identified a gross oil column at the top of the Massive Formation of 14 metres, with a net oil pay of 6 metres and average porosity within the pay zone of 22%. An open-hole drill-stem test was conducted over the interval 1982-1998 metres MD (1564-1580 metres TVD SS). The KHE-14 well flowed oil of 27 degrees API at an average rate of 613 barrels of oil per day ("bopd") for a 7 hour period on a 2" choke using nitrogen lift. Negligible quantities of formation water were produced during this flow period. Although a definitive oil-water contact was not observed on wireline logs or drilling data, the wireline logs indicates that oil was produced during this test from a depth of 1998 metres MD (1580 metres TVD SS), 9 metres deeper than the previous deepest oil flow observed in the field in well KHE 13. A new field ODT has accordingly been interpreted at 1580 metres TVD SS. These test results from KHE-14 and in particular the deeper ODT are expected to have positive implications for reserves assessments which are currently being undertaken on the Khurbet East field and which will be the subject of a separate announcement at the beginning of the Second Quarter 2010. Khurbet East-13 Well Commences Production Well KHE-13, which was drilled and completed at the end of last year, has been tied back to the Khurbet East Early Production Facility, located approximately 3.5 kilometres north-east of the KHE-13 surface location. The well is currently producing at approximately 310 bopd under natural flow and with negligible amounts of formation water. The production performance exhibited by well KHE-13 is in line with expectations and consistent with its location within the field; well productivity is not as strong as that demonstrated by the high performance production wells located near the crest of the field, but is superior to that observed from wells drilled in the southern flank. Well KHE-13 will be a candidate for production enhancement later this year via installation of permanent artificial lift equipment. Zaman-1 Exploration Well Spudded Zaman-1, the first well in the 2010 exploration drilling programme, was spudded on Friday 15(th) January. The Zaman prospect is located approximately 4.5 kilometres to the south of the Khurbet East Field as currently delineated and targets the same Cretaceous Massive formation under production at the Khurbet East field. Gross unrisked speculative reserves for this prospect are estimated to be in the order of 23 to 35 million barrels of oil. Drilling operations on the Zaman-1 well are anticipated to take approximately 45 days to complete. Ric Malcolm, Gulfsands CEO, said "The positive and significant results from KHE-14 delineation well in addition to the start of oil production from KHE-13 both represent very significant milestones in the continuing development of the Khurbet East Field from both a production and potential reserves perspective.  With the spudding of the Zaman-1 exploration well, the Company now commences an active and potentially exciting exploration drilling programme of four wells during 2010." This release has been approved by Richard Malcolm, Chief Executive of Gulfsands Petroleum Plc who has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology with 30 years of experience in petroleum exploration and management. Mr. Malcolm has consented to the inclusion of the technical information in this release in the form and context in which it appears. For more information please contact: Gulfsands Petroleum (London) +44 (0)20 7434 6060 Richard Malcolm, Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Judge, Director of Corporate Development & +44 (0)7733 001 002 Communications Buchanan Communications Limited (London) +44 (0)20 7466 5000 Bobby Morse Ben Romney RBC Capital Markets (London) +44 (0)20 7653 4000 Josh Critchley Matthew Coakes Brett Jacobs ABOUT GULFSANDS: Gulfsands is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Syria Gulfsands owns a 50% working interest and is operator of Block 26 in North East Syria.  The Khurbet East oil field was discovered in June 2007 and commenced commercial production within 13 months of the discovery. This field is producing at an average gross production rate of approximately 17,300 barrels of oil per day through an early production facility. Block 26 covers approximately 8,250 square kilometres and encompasses existing fields which currently produce over 100,000 barrels of oil per day, and are operated mainly by the Syrian Petroleum Company.  The current exploration license expires in August 2010 and is extendable for a further two years.  Gulfsands' working interest 2P reserves in Syria at 31 December 2008 were 35.2 mmbbls. Iraq Gulfsands signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2005 with the Ministry of Oil in Iraq for the Maysan Gas Project in Southern Iraq, following completion of a feasibility study on the project, and is negotiating details of a definitive contract for this regionally important development.  The project will gather, process and transmit natural gas that is currently a waste by-product of oil production and as a result of the present practice of gas flaring, contributes to significant environmental damage in the region. The Company is actively engaged in discussions with respect to financing and potential equity partners.  Gulfsands has no reserves in Iraq. Gulf of Mexico, USA The Company owns interests in 44 blocks comprising approximately 138,000 gross acres offshore Texas and Louisiana, which include 30 producing oil and gas fields with proved and probable working interest reserves at 31 December 2008 of 5.1 mmboe. Certain statements included herein constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. These forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions made by Gulfsands and as such are not a guarantee of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements due to factors such as general economic and market conditions, increased costs of production or a decline in oil and gas prices. Gulfsands is under no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws. More information can be found on the Company's website www.gulfsands.com [HUG#1375425]