The relocation of its headquarters to London from Houston meant its chief executive, John Dorrier and finance head, David DeCort, left the company, a spokesman says. The board expects to appoint new London-based senior management shortly.

It expects to raise £9.35m by placing 5.5 million shares at £1.70 each with an investment fund and says the proceeds will primarily be used to fund its operations in Iraq.

Gulfsands signed a memorandum of understanding in January 2005 with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for the Maysan natural gas project in southern Iraq. The company expects to negotiate a contract shortly, following the recent completion of a feasibility study.

The company says the project will gather, process and transmit natural gas that is currently a waste by-product of oil production in the region.

Gulfsands says with production at its Khurbet East well in Syria expected to come onstream later this year it views London as a better base to serve its Syrian and Middle East assets than Houston.