Category Archives: Insomniac Docs

Just a notice about this blog

A partir de hoy,este blog sera disponsible solamente en los archivos.

You can follow the following,if you please

http://insomniadiary.wordpress.com/

http://dogmaandgeopolitics.wordpress.com

http://insomnia.pinguinland.eu/

http://auntiedogmasgardenspot.wordpress.com/

I’d rather be in good friends’company than keeping a blog on my own,gotta admit its quite tiring.

Same kind of posts and a touch of music in the Diary of my insomnia (oops got me a new blog title)

Thank you very much for reading my posts,for following,for forming a community. I really appreciate it. Hope to see you soon enough on the mentioned links- not redirecting any of you.

Anyone can use-copy-repost the blog archives,just please be kind enough to mention the source & the original one,thank you.And when i say you can use the archives I mean it. Just help yourselves 😉

Special thanks to my friend Moorbey for nominating this humble blog,thank you compañera

Thanks to my Malatesta friend 🙂  nada mal con tu testa

Thanks to all of you for your constant support.Without you this tiny blog would mean nothing.

See you around and dance to the music:)

 


Golden Dawn Immigrants-Fake NeoNazi’s

All those links were sent to me on Twitter and I am more than glad to post them,I do beleive I will find more on those people due time.No threats allowed according to the WP policy or the HR declaration. So please stay vigilant of what you are going to post :)I checked all blog categories so that the post can get the most views possible. Regards!

“##Spiros Macrozonaris## IMMIGRANT Golden Dawn Deputy leader in Montreal, Canada” :

Facebook profile :

INTERESTING FACEBOOK POST MR. MACROZONARIS, HE CANNOT EVEN WRITE GREEK! BAD NAZI BAD! :

His NON 100% PURE GREEK son’s Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/macrozonaris?ref=ts&fref=ts

1. Greek Immigrant who married a “foreigner” >>>>>French-Canadian Doris Morrissette, they bore a son, Nicolas Macrozonaris (World-Class Sprinter – CANADIAN Olympian 🙂 ..who unfortunately is not 100% Pure Greek…

2. Conversations with Nicolas on Twitter, lead to nothing, he is ‘pretending’ that he has NO knowledge of what Golden Dawn supports and believes YET he states that he does not condone his fathers “actions”

Twitter @Macrozonaris TWEETER CONVERSATIONS with Nicolas –>

###### MUST WATCH #####
Video from CBC Montreal, from week of Oct 12th – INTERVIEW with Spiros Macrozonaris – next to him sits LOOSER Ilias Hondronicolas : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-3rbLI4K78

#Ilias Hondronicolas ———> on PHOTO second guy from the left :

#MORE HONDRONICOLAS:

(FRIENDS WITH ELENI ZAROULIA SHARING HER PHOTOS!)
( MUST SEE )

#MORE PAPAGEORGIOU:


True Oil Wars

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BAGHDAD2453 2007-07-25 05:57 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad

VZCZCXRO1627
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2453/01 2060557
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 250557Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2415

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002453

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/23/2017
TAGS: ECON ENRG IZ PREL
SUBJECT: CODEL BURGESS MEETING WITH MINISTER OF OIL HUSAYN
AL-SHAHRISTANI

Classified By: ECONOMIC MINISTER CHARLES P. RIES FOR REASONS 1.5 (b) an
d (d)

¶1. (C). SUMMARY. On July 22, Congressmen Michael Burgess
(R-TX), Steve King (R-IA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), John Carter
(R-TX), Kevin Brady (R-TX), and David Davis (R-TN) met with
Minister of Oil Husayn al-Shahristani to discuss issues
related to the state of Iraq,s petroleum infrastructure,
plans to improve the infrastructure and revitalize petroleum
exploration and production. Minister Shahristani
acknowledged the important role of the petroleum industry in
Iraq,s economy and the need for passage of the
hydrocarbon-related laws as signaling Iraq,s emergence as a
dominant petroleum producing country. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C). Minister Shahristani introduced the topic of the
status of Iraq,s petroleum industry by observing that the
industry provides 93% of the country,s budget; that of the
500 known potential petroleum-bearing geophysical structures,
only about 80 have been evaluated and expected to make up the
majority of the 115 billion barrel reserve; and that of these
80 structures, 10 are “super giants,” 10 are “giants,” and 10
are “very large” structures. He also stated that most of
these 80 structures are currently in production although
perhaps not being optimally produced at this time.
Shahristani also predicted that of the 500 known structures,
300 will eventually produce commercial quantities of oil.

¶3. (C). Shahristani observed that even though private oil
companies have not been willing to work in Iraq as a result
of the security situation, the state-owned oil companies have
been able to drill some new wells. He also noted that while
the level of oil production in the country has not risen as
he desired, the rising price oil has allowed Iraq to more or
less maintain a level income from exports.

¶4. (C). Shahristani noted successes in having new meters
installed in the southern export facilities, but also noted
that if problems occur, it is likely the fault of the
American company that required an extra year to complete the
project. He predicted no interruption in oil exports from
the southern facilities, unless problems arise between Iran
and the United States. He encouraged the United States and
Iran to continue their dialogue to solve issues that impact
Iraq.

¶5. (C). A member of the Congressional delegation, having
toured the Bayji oil refinery yesterday asked what
infrastructure improvements were needed to increase the
refinery,s production potential. Shahristani stated that
while foreign companies were not willing to work in Iraq due
to the current security situation, he has asked that they
supply needed equipment, for example for the hydrocracker.
He also stated that he is attempting to replace trained
workers, originally from the south of the country, who have
fled the sectarian violence of the area.

¶6. (C). When asked about the Ministry of Oil,s budget,
Shahristani stated that he had a budget of $2.2 billion. He
complained that the Ministry of Finance had delayed the
allocation of funds for the first quarter of the year and
those funds were not available until the end of March. In
any event, he noted that by the second quarter, he had been
able to spend 25% of his budget and expects to spend 85% of
his budget by the end of the year.

¶7. (C). Shahristani explained that the Council of Ministers
had approved and sent to the Council of Representatives a law
that would encourage investment in Iraq,s oil refineries; he
expected a third reading of this law to occur soon. He
expressed support for the Framework Hydrocarbon Law stating
that “all the right elements were present in the law” and
promised that he would be in the Council of Representatives
(CoR) to explain the law. He also stated that while he could
not predict what the lawmakers would do, he anticipated its
eventual passage. He noted that he had already prepared a
list of those fields to be drilled and produced first.

¶8. (C). A member of the delegation asked about Chinese
exploration and production contracts. Shahristani answered
by explaining that there was one contract in existence with
the Chinese, which was legitimate and was signed by the
previous regime to develop a small field just south of
Baghdad (Adhab) and would produce no more than 100,000
barrels per day of heavy crude. He explained that under the
current draft of the framework Hydrocarbon law, such
contracts must be reviewed and meet the conditions of the new
law. He also stated that this contract would have to be
amended and that the production from this field was not for
export, but rather to supply crude oil to a refinery planned
to be constructed in the area by the Chinese.

BAGHDAD 00002453 002 OF 002

¶9. (C). A member of the delegation asked if the Iraqi
people understood that they could become rich from the
development of their petroleum resources, if only they would
cooperate with each other. Shahristani responded that the
people will not understand the details of the various
hydrocarbon-related laws, but will follow the impressions
created by others and the media. He proceeded to explain
that several local media stations are supported by members of
Saddam,s regime, living mostly in Jordan now, and by the
Saudis and Emirates. He characterized as more damaging, the
influence of Al-Jazeera. He stated that, in his opinion,
Saudi Arabia feels threatened by the prospect of a
significant Iraqi contribution to the international oil
market; Iraq was not a threat to the Saudis as long as
exports remained no greater than 2 to 3 million barrels.

¶10. (C). When asked about exports in the north, Shahristani
noted that the exports brought in about $400,000 per day and
that the Bayji refinery has limited production capacity.
(Note: In the absence of more explanation that was not
provided to the delegation, this statement appears at odds
with the fact that the export pipeline to Turkey operates
only intermittently. Also, the Bayji refinery capacity is
limited primarily by unreliable electricity supply and
limited heavy fuel oil storage capability. End Note.)
Shahristani also noted that northern exports were at the
mercy of the security situation. He stated that the
Strategic Infrastructure Brigades (SIBs) were established by
a “leader of the insurgency” and that he informed the
multi-national forces of this fact. He also stated that
contrary to the opinion of the multi-national force
commanders, the SIBs cannot be retrained to an effective
status. Shahristani stated his expectation that a new effort
to contract with local tribal leaders for security of the
pipelines will be more effective and lead to a resumption of
northern exports in one to two months.

¶11. (C). Addressing Congressional benchmarks, Shahristani
said that he expected the Framework Hydrocarbon and Revenue
Management Laws to proceed in tandem to the CoR and will be
debated together. He assessed that the refinery investment
law, already in the CoR, will be passed soon. He stated that
the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has reservations about
the Revenue Management Law, but that KRG representatives will
be in Baghdad in a week, and that he expected the law will go
to the CoR within the next 2 to 3 weeks. He also stated
that, while no one has objection to the Revenue Management
Law in principle, Sunni factions were attacking it for
political reasons. Shahristani stated that there was also
strong Sunni opposition to the Framework Hydrocarbon Law, but
that he agreed with Ambassador Crocker that some Sunni
support for the law was needed.

¶12. (C). Shahristani was asked what he was doing to secure
the petroleum infrastructure in the event coalition forces
left Iraq. He responded that a withdrawal would not impact
the southern pipelines and other facilities since Coalition
Forces are not now protecting those facilities. As for the
northern facilities, he stated that the Bayji refinery could
be shut down, but that would have consequences equally
adverse for the insurgency.

¶13. (C). Shahristani reiterated that he was working hard to
meet the benchmarks, that half of the benchmarks were met and
that the other half could be met if government,s efforts
were supported by the Sunnis, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf
states. He requested that the USG pressure these other
entities to stop supporting the groups opposing Iraq,s
efforts to meet the remaining benchmarks.

¶14. (C). Minister Shahristani concluded the meeting with an
expression of determination that Iraq will export to the
world oil market “its fair share of resources.” He stated
that he wanted the American public to know that this conflict
was not about oil, but about Islamic fundamentalism. He also
stated that Al-Qaeda was a long-term problem for the world.

¶15. (C). CODEL Burgess did not have an opportunity to clear
this cable.

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BAGHDAD3071 2007-09-12 06:02 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Baghdad

VZCZCXRO4961
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3071/01 2550602
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120602Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3336
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BAGHDAD 003071

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET EINV ENRG IZ
SUBJECT: HUNT OIL SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH KRG UNDER KRG OIL LAW

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET DISRIBUTION. PROTECT
SOURCES.

This is a Kurdistan Regional Reconstruction Team (RRT) cable.

SUMMARY
——-

¶1. (SBU) The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) recently signed a
production sharing contract (PSC) with Hunt Oil Company that covers
oil exploration and production in “the Dohuk area.” Comments by
Hunt officials indicate that the block is actually in the Ninewa
Governorate’s northern administrative districts. The PSC marks the
first oil deal signed by the KRG, following enactment of the
Kurdistan Region’s hydrocarbons law on August 6, 2007. Considerable
legal ambiguity surrounds the PSC with Hunt Oil, as the districts in
northern Ninewa to be explored by the company are classified as
“disputed territories” under the Iraqi constitution. A senior Hunt
Oil manager told RRT Erbil’s Team Leader that northern Ninewa
province has significant potential for oil production, and that this
factor trumps the legal ambiguities and risks associated with the
company’s PSC with the KRG. The oil potential of northern Iraq
continues to attract significant investor interest. Several other
international energy companies are expected to announce oil deals
with the KRG during coming weeks. Despite the KRG’s aggressive
pursuit of foreign direct investment to develop the Kurdistan
Region’s hydrocarbons production potential, KRG Prime Minister
Nechirvan reiterated the KRG’s commitment to the federal hydrocarbon
revenue sharing agreement that allocates Iraq’s oil wealth to all
Iraqis on a per capita basis. Meanwhile, senior central government
officials expressed their dismay that the KRG enacted a regional
hydrocarbons law, and that the KRG continues to pursue oil
investment from foreign companies in advance of enactment of
comprehensive national hydrocarbons legislation. [NOTE: The ability
of regional governments to sign contracts has been among the key
issues of contention during negotiation of the national hydrocarbon
law. The KRG has reluctantly agreed, at times. to refrain from
finalizing agreements in advance of a national law, but have
maintained that they would not wait indefinitely for national
legislation to be approved by the Council of Representatives. END
NOTE.]

KRG Contract with Hunt in Disputed Territory
——————————————–

¶2. (SBU) On September 8, 2007, the KRG, Hunt Oil Company, and
Impulse Energy Corporation (IEC) jointly announced they had signed a
PSC covering petroleum exploration activities “in the Dohuk area of
the Kurdistan Region.” Hunt Oil’s General Manager for Europe,
Africa and the Middle East, David McDonald, told RRT Erbil’s Team
Leader on September 5 that the envisioned “Dohuk area” of operations
under the PSC consists of the administrative districts of northern
Ninewa province. McDonald did not disclose the exact areas in
northern Ninewa to be initially targeted for exploration by Hunt Oil
but he mentioned Shekkan and Akra as areas they had visited. While
the land to be explored by Hunt Oil has been behind the Green Line
of KRG control for many years and is occupied by a majority Kurdish
population who considers itself part of Dohuk Governorate, the area
falls within the legal boundaries of Ninewa province. Northern
Ninewa is “disputed territory,” according to the Iraqi federal
constitution, and the legal boundaries of the area are eventually to
be decided by a public referendum pursuant to Article 140 of the
federal constitution.

¶3. (SBU) During discussions with RRT Erbil’s Team Leader, McDonald
seemed less than fully informed about the potential ramifications of
Article 140 on Hunt Oil’s negotiations with the KRG. He did not
express concern about the potential controversy surrounding
signature of a PSC with the KRG that covers areas of operation
currently outside the KRG’s legal control. He said, “This is a
significant opportunity that outweighs the legal ambiguity.” Hunt
Oil CEO Ray Hunt also discounted the fact that the northern Ninewa
districts targeted under the PSC are not yet within the KRG’s
legally defined borders. He expressed satisfaction on September 8
that his company was “actively participating in the establishment of
the petroleum industry in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.”

¶4. (U) Enactment of the KRG’s new oil law may have spurred
completion of the PSC with Hunt Oil. The PSC was announced shortly
after publication of the English translation of the new oil and gas
law on the KRG’s website. Before the law was enacted, only one PSC
had been signed for the Dohuk area – with DNO of Norway. That PSC
covered operations only within the legal boundaries of Dohuk
Governorate. Enactment of the KRG oil law and the subsequent
announcement of the deal with Hunt Oil may accelerate the signing of
PSCs with other international oil companies. Several are
reportedly on the verge of signing PSCs with the KRG during coming
weeks. Article 19 of the KRG law states that “the Federal
Government must not practice any new Petroleum Operations in the
disputed territories without the approval of [the KRG] until such
time as the referendum required by Article 140 of the Federal
Constitution is conducted.” Article 20, however, allows the KRG to

BAGHDAD 00003071 002 OF 003

sign PSCs with foreign oil companies in disputed territories, based
on articles 112, 115 and 121(3) of the Federal Constitution.

Potential Bonanza Trumps Legal Ambiguity
—————————————-

¶5. (SBU) While McDonald said Hunt Oil must conduct further
assessments about the speed and scope of their operational
activities in northern Ninewa, with decisions regarding the focus of
initial seismic tests to begin “by the end of October,” he was
optimistic about the oil potential of the region. McDonald said
portions of the topography in all three districts of northern Ninewa
bode well for oil exploration. He said, “It’s like shooting fish in
a barrel.” A Hunt Oil company spokesman in Dallas said the company
will begin geological survey and seismic work by the end of 2007,
with plans to be in a position to drill an exploration well in
¶2008.

KRG Boldly Enacts Regional Hydrocarbons Law…
———————————————

¶6. (U) The KRG deal with Hunt Oil marks the first PSC signed with a
foreign oil company following KRG enactment of the Oil and Gas Law
of the Kurdistan Region on August 6, 2007. Speaking of the KRG’s
rationale in passing a controversial regional hydrocarbons law while
a draft national oil and gas law remains intensely debated, KRG
Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani told reporters on August 7,
“Successive governments in Iraq have deliberately left our oil in
the ground as an effort to keep our people [ethnic Kurds] poor and
to deny our aspirations for a better way of life. Today, with the
passage of this new Kurdistan Law in a federal Iraq, we know that
those days are gone.”
¶7. (U) While espousing the benefits of foreign direct investment in
the Kurdistan Region’s oil producing areas, Nechirvan acknowledged
federal constitution provisions that require any oil revenues
generated under the KRG’s hydrocarbons law to be shared equally with
all Iraqis. He confirmed the KRG intends to limit itself to its
constitutionally mandated share of national oil revenues, regardless
of whether the oil is sourced inside or outside the Kurdistan
Region. He said, “We will receive 17 percent of all revenues from
all oil production in all of Iraq.”
¶8. (U) KRG Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami echoed those
comments. Hawrami said on September 9, “We believe that the [KRG’s]
production-sharing agreements are the best way to move swiftly
forward and help not just the Kurds but all Iraqis.” He envisions
that the Kurdistan Region will produce one million barrels of oil
per day within five years. To achieve this goal, the KRG intends to
sign PSCs with other large international oil companies. On
September 9, Hawrami told Dow Jones, “I think we’ll be having an
announcement with a blue-chip company soon.”

While Criticizing Central Government Paralysis
——————————————— –

¶9. (SBU) Following passage of the KRG hydrocarbons law, KRG
officials recommitted themselves to the February 2007 national
hydrocarbons framework agreement. Nechirvan told RRT Erbil’s Team
Leader on August 28 that he hoped the new KRG law “would spur
movment in Baghdad” to enact a national hydrocarbons law. During
that meeting, however, Nechirvan expressed disappointment with
political developments in Baghdad and pessimism about “whether the
Sunnis and the Shi’a want to live together.” He said the KRG does
not want Iraq’s central government to “hold up development of
regional resources for another ten years.”

Arab Leaders Critical of KRG Oil Law
————————————
¶10. (U) Senior central government officials in Baghdad condemned the
oil deals signed by the KRG in advance of enactment of national
hydrocarbons legislation. Abdul Hadi al Hasani, Deputy Chairman of
the national parliament’s Energy Committee, said recently that such
contracts may be overturned by the federal government, though he
conceded that such a move could discourage potential foreign
investments in Iraq’s oil sector. Sami al Askari, a parliamentarian
and senior advisor to Prime Minister al Maliki, told reporters on
September 7 that a federal oil and gas council to be formed under
the national hydrocarbons law could decide whether to rescind the
KRG’s handful of oil contracts with foreign investors. In a
concession to the reality that foreign direct investment in Iraq’s
oil infrastructure remains both valuable and scarce, the
parliamentarians said the private firms that signed deals with the
KRG should not be blocked from winning future oil contracts in
Iraq.

COMMENT
¶11. (SBU) USG policy has discouraged companies from signing oil
deals with the KRG until Iraq enacts its national hydrocarbon
framework law, as such regional contracts could act as an impediment
to negotiations toward a comprehensive national settlement that
equitably distributes Iraq’s oil wealth. Such contracts also remain
subject to significant legal ambiguity. This has not deterred Hunt
Oil and the other handful of companies that have signed PSCs with

BAGHDAD 00003071 003 OF 003

the KRG. Their concerns about the nebulous political environment
and possible eventual dissolution of their PSCs have been overridden
by the prospect of huge profits – from getting first access to the
choicest oil exploration fields in northern Iraq, and from
establishing productive relationships with key KRG and central
government officials. The potential pitfalls are especially acute
in cases (e.g. Hunt Oil and its junior partner IEC) where investors
will commence operations in disputed territories. It remains
doubtful that the KRG was legally entitled to enter into a binding
contract with Hunt Oil that covers oil exploration and eventual
hydrocarbons production in an area (i.e. northern Ninewa province)
that the KRG does not legally control. Legal considerations aside,
the KRG’s actions complicates enactment of a national hydrocarbons
law.
BUTENIS

 


via Missed Link:- US Cables – EMBASSY ATHENS – WikiLeaks missing/hidden links

Those are some of the missing greek cables from Wikileaks.Certainly those few and past ones do not satisfy nobody. What happened with the submarines german deal,what happened with Siemens and ex Minister Tsoxatzopoulos,What has happened with the Aegean and which are the surprises we haven’t seen yet.Wikileakes  reveals nothing more than what a common tabloid has already. Sorry guys,I used to be a supporter

The Syrian files were released including a helluva of greek corporate names, but where the hell is the proof? Where is the Alcatel Cables?  the Syrian Assad communication cables with the Italo- Greek communication Services? THIS  CONSTITUTES A CRIME AGAINST NATIONS,MAINLY SYRIA AND THEN ITALY AND GREECE

Whoever decided to hide those cables he should be considered an accessory to PEACE crimes

Greece Cables

– US Cables – EMBASSY ATHENS – WikiLeaks –

Arms Procurement Plan 2006-2010 approved – Cablegate – 2006: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/08/06ATHENS2031.html

  • “On July 25, the GoG announced plans to spend an estimated EUR 27 billion for arms procurement over the next decade”
  • “The government’s handling of defense procurement, Papoutsis said, increases costs, “mortgages” the future of the welfare state”
  • “and pushes up the overall defense budget instead of economizing with the view of offering more funds for education, health care, and social security”
______________________________________________________________________________

Students Protest proposed University Reforms, Shut down Athens Center – Cablegate – 2006: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/06/06ATHENS1507.html

  • “Many who oppose the amendments have focused on what they call the “commercialization” of the public university education or “surrender of public universities to private interests.””
  • Comment [US]: “We have long pushed for the GoG to recognize degrees from private institutions, which would, among other things, benefit private U.S. higher learning institutions already here”

Government caves to Student Protests, postpones proposed University Reforms – Cablegate – 2006: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/06/06ATHENS1556.html

  • “In the face of continuing, mass student protests and demonstrations, Education Minister Yiannakou announced on June 13 that she would postpone submitting the draft bill on education reforms during the summer parliament recess as originally planned”
  • Comment [US]: “The government’s postponement in the face of student protests is disappointing to us: a number of U.S.-based private, non-profit universities operating here would benefit from these reforms”
_________________________________________

Southern Corridor Energy Conference examines European Energy Security – Cablegate – 2006: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/08/06ATHENS2078.html

  • “Gazprom’s growing stranglehold on European energy supplies, particularly in the area of natural gas, has the potential to reduce these countries’ diplomatic freedom of movement in support of U.S. diplomatic goals”
  • “Improving these countries’ energy security and diversity of supply options can therefore improve U.S. national security”
  • “One key element of this overall strategy is maximizing the opportunity provided by the new Turkey-Greece-Italy natural gas interconnector, currently under construction, to bring Caspian gas to Europe”

The U.S. Strategy:

  • “All agreed that it is imperative to promote energy diversification strategies that encompass the development of additional energy sources and suppliers to provide vulnerable SE and SCE countries with alternatives to Gazprom”
  • “To confront Gazprom domination, there must be a concerted effort to diversify and develop multiple gas pipelines from the Caspian to Europe”

“Turkey’s Role — as Transit Country or as Reseller — Must Be Clarified”

  • “During the conference it became clear that the key problem vis-a-vis Turkey is its aspirations to become an energy reseller, extracting (it hopes) greater profits from gas trade than it would as a simple gas transit country”

“The Russian Strategy: Gazprom”

  • “Firstly, what kind of a company is Gazprom? According to conference participants, Gazprom,s risk-averse business model seeks to consolidate all aspects of gas production, transportation, and delivery into a vertically integrated operation”
  • “Moreover, Gazprom’s predatory behavior towards potential competitors seeks to expand its reach horizontally. The result is the creation of a “super” monopoly”
  • “Once the deal is struck, however, Gazprom has been utilizing its market power to extract concessions from the customer, whether in new pricing agreements, increased preferential access to transit capacity, or frequently, in majority or strong minority control of local gas companies”
______________________________________________________________________________

Putin and Purvanov in Athens: the long Road to Burgas-Alexandroupolis – Cablegate – 2006: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/09/06ATHENS2324.html

  • “The Burgas-Alexandroupolis Project: “The B-A project was originally conceived in 1994 as a project to relieve tanker traffic through the congested Bosporus strait”
  • The 285-kilometer cross-border pipeline is designed to carry Russian oil from the Bulgarian port of Burgas to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis in northern Greece”
  • “The project has an estimated investment cost of 750-800 million US dollars with an annual capacity of 35 million tonnes of oil”

Greek PM in Moscow: Rhetoric (Apparently) Unmatched by Deeds – Cablegate – 2007: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/12/07ATHENS2375.html

  • “During a December 17-18 visit to Moscow, Greek PM Karamanlis signed with Russian President Putin and Bulgarian President Parvanov an agreement establishing a company to construct the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline through Bulgaria and Greece”
  • “We have told the Greeks the U.S. has no problem with better Greek-Russian ties. At the same time, we continue to ask how Greece can reconcile its support for the Turkey-Greece-Italy gas inter-connector with the competing South Stream project — a question to which we have yet to receive an adequate reply”
_________________________________________

P.M. Karamanlis Trip to Russia: Energy – Cablegate – 2008: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/04/08ATHENS598.html

  • “The IGA, he said, includes provisions that: an international holding company (Societe Anonyme) will be established for the portion of South Stream that passes through Greek territory, jointly and equally owned by Gazprom and the Greek Pipeline Transmission Operator (DESFA)”

Energy: Greeks see Baku ready to Cooperate, Ankara standing in the Way – Cablegate – 2008: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/03/08ATHENS438.html

  • “Minister of Development Folias told the Ambassador he had found a spirit of “excellent cooperation” in Baku during his March 17 trip there”
  • “He noted that “The Azeris are as keen to work with us as we are with them. Moreover, they have a huge supply of gas.””
  • “Folias said Azerbaijani officials had told him that the country had gas for 100 – 200 years, and that it had extracted 28 bcm of gas this year alone”

TFGG01: Greece’s Business-as-Usual with Russia undermines strong NATO Statements – Cablegate – 2008: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/08/08ATHENS1216.html

  • “Despite strong statements at NATO and the EU by FM Bakoyannis supporting Georgian territorial integrity and condemning Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, the GOG at the same time is moving ahead with several “business-as-usual” events with Russia, including a visit this week of a Russian defense industry team to discuss arms purchases, the impending Parliamentary ratification of the South Stream gas pipeline deal with Russia, and co-sponsorship with Russia of a major cultural event marking 180 years of Greek-Russian diplomatic relations”
  • “Embassy will continue to press the GOG to delay or cancel these events to avoid undercutting NATO and EU positions”
_________________________________________

U.S./Greece Mil-to-Mil Cooperation: the Good, the Bad, and the Necessary – Cablegate – 2008: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/06/08ATHENS896.html

  • “The Greeks currently tend to overstate both their contributions and their importance to the United States, and there is no need to accept the Greek hyperbole. But some of the facts of this cooperation speak for themselves”
  • “The GOG has proven to be a very cooperative partner at Souda Bay, though it does not advertise this for domestic political reasons”

MOD Venizelos lays out Views before Parliament – Cablegate – 2009: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/10/09ATHENS1563.html

  • “New Minister of Defense Evangelos Venizelos recently told Parliament that he will take an “extremely cautious” view towards NATO’s Strategic Concept, that he wants to avoid Aegean tensions but will resist flagrant Turkish violations of international law and threats of violence, and that he wants to reduce defense spending to average OSCE levels”
______________________________________________________________________________


der Standard: die Griechen müssen ehrlich zu sich sein: http://derstandard.at/1326503009320/Die-Griechen-muessen-ehrlich-zu-sich-sein

  • “mangelnde Steuermoral, Beihilfenbetrug und grenzenlose Rüstungsausgaben freuen nur Waffenhersteller und Banken im Ausland”

Aufruf zum EU-Streik gegen die Ratingagenturen – Sepp Wall-Strasser: http://derstandard.at/1304552271368/Griechenland-Aufruf-zum-EU-Streik-gegen-die-Ratingagenturen

  • “die Gründe für das Nichtfunktionieren liegen auf der Hand: Kein Land kann sich aus einer Krise “heraussparen””
  • “die drakonischen Maßnahmen strafen die falschen, sie bringen die Realwirtschaft zum Absturz und lassen die eigentlichen Verursacher – die “Märkte” – ungeschoren davonkommen”
  • “Retten könnte uns nur noch ein radikaler Politikwechsel innerhalb der EU – also gleichsam ein Streik gegen jene Kräfte, die derzeit drauf und dran sind, die Grundlagen der Gemeinschaft zu ruinieren”
  • “klar ist, dass es darum geht, die vielzitierten “Märkte” – die geballte Macht der Finanzindustrie – in die Schranken zu weisen und die “Polis” – das Gemeinsame, die Demokratie – zu retten”
______________________________________________________________________________

Homer – Wikipedia EN: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer


BP Entry contract for Rumaila field

Fourth release, 31 July 2011

During the second half of 2009, Iraq held two auctions of its largest oilfields, awarding them to multinational companies such as BP, Shell and ExxonMobil to operate under 20-year contracts. Between them the oilfields account for over 60% of Iraq’s reserves. The contracts were service contracts rather than the companies’ preferred production sharing agreements, which had been proposed for Iraq but rejected as giving too much away.

Media reports of the auction focused on the headline remuneration fees. These sounded so low – between $1.15 and $5.50 per barrel – that many commentators questioned the profitability of the deals. But as always in oil contracts, the devil is in the detail. And whereas the auctions were billed by the Iraqi government as among the world’s most transparent contracting processes, the first contract, for the super-giant Rumaila field near Basra, was privately renegotiated between the Iraqi government and the winning BP/CNPC consortium for more than three months after the auction.The result was that the terms changed significantly from the published model contract on which the auction was based, to  make it much more attractive to BP and CNPC, at the expense of the Iraqi people.

  • We have obtained the renegotiated Rumaila contract, and can reveal its contents for the first time. The major changes are explained in the report “From Glass Box to Smoke Filled Room – How BP secretly renegotiated its Iraqi oil contract, and how Iraqis will pay the price”, written by Fuel on the Fire author Greg Muttitt and published by PLATFORM.

NEW REPORT: From Glass Box to Smoke Filled Room.

DOCUMENT 12: the original model contract, on which the auction was based.
DOCUMENT 13: the leaked, renegotiated contract, which was actually signed.

Also in today’s release:

  • Another document released today reveals the possible reason BP was so successful in changing the terms in its favour, by focusing on the detailed terms of the contract. In April 2009, Ministry of Oil officials travelled to the UK to explore how to meet their training needs. Just two months before the auction, foremost among the areas where they sought training were commercial and negotiating skills. And the training provider they went to? BP!

DOCUMENT 14: Letter from BP to Iraq Ministry of Oil, 28 April 2009.

  • The contracts were opposed by many in Iraq, including oil experts, the management of the South Oil Company (which would have to work with BP on the Rumaila field), the oil trade union and the parliamentary oil and gas committee. When parliamentarians called in the Iraqi Oil Minister for questioning about the contract, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wrote to the speaker of parliament to warn against the move. In the private and confidential letter, released today, he told the speaker that he would consider such questioning to be “in harmony” with recent major terrorist bombings in Baghdad.

DOCUMENT 15: Letter from Nouri al-Maliki to parliament, October 2009 (Arabic original)

DOCUMENT 16: Letter from Nouri al-Maliki to parliament, October 2009 (English translation)

Fifth release, July 17, 2012

(See also today’s press release)

Two documents are published today, revealing for the first time the role of the Energy Infrastructure Planning Group, whose purpose was to plan for the running of Iraq’s oil industry during the period of direct U.S. occupation and administration of Iraq (under the CPA of Paul Bremer, as it became).

EIPG was established in summer 2002 by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith. It was led by Michael Mobbs, a political appointee in the Department of Defense. The other members were Michael Makovsy of the Department of Defense, Seneca Johnson of the Department of State, Clark Turner of the Department of Energy (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) and a CIA analyst.

The EIPG did the thinking behind the subject, and made recommendations to the Deputies and Principals Committees of the National Security Council (comprising the heads and second-in-commands of the government agencies relevant to national security).

They were obtained from the Department of Defense under the Freedom of Information Act. This is the first clear evidence, more than nine years on, that Bush administration officials were planning before the war to open the way to multinational oil companies, an assertion consistently denied by the government.

DOCUMENT 17: a briefing to the Deputies Committee on November 6, 2002.  The main topic of the meeting is how to spend the proceeds from Iraqi oil.

See especially page 10, where weighing up whether to repair war-damaged Iraqi oil infrastructure, one of the cons is that it “could deter private sector involvement”. Although this route was rejected (see DOCUMENT 18), it could later be seen in the U.S. forces’ failure to stop looting of the infrastructure in April 2003 (they only protected the Oil Ministry building, which held the irreplaceable geological data – they did nothing to protect drill rigs, pump stations etc). The attitude was seen again when the Oil Ministry’s considerable human resources were cleared out in fall 2003, in favor of friends and family of the new oil minister.

Note also on the contents page (2) the EIPG planned to consider later that month “whether to use control of Iraqi oil to advance important U.S. foreign policy objectives”. DOD reports that it holds no record of such discussions. They are likely to involve not direct U.S. energy interests, but whether to tear up eg Russian and Chinese contracts in order to harm those countries.

(The briefing was stored by the DOD as landscape printed on portrait paper – hence the edges are cut off in the official archive too!).
DOCUMENT 18: a briefing to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on January 11, 2003, incorporating comments and decisions from earlier Deputies meetings.

Here the option of leaving war damage unrepaired so as to make room for Big Oil has been rejected, in favor of appointing Halliburton subsidiary KBR to carry out repairs (page 5).

Priorities are set of restoring crude oil production (which the USA needed) over electricity and fuel (which Iraqis needed – page 6).

Increasing Iraqi production to 5 million barrels per day (from 2.5m bpd)  is favored as it “helps consumers” and “puts long-term downward pressure on the oil price”

Strikingly, “pubic diplomacy” (page 4) means the message that would be given to the public, including saying that “we will act… so as not to prejudice Iraq’s future decisions” – even though the opposite is proposed as substantive policy. In other words, the briefing recommends that the Bush administration mislead the public on how it would approach Iraqi oil.


Oil Wars : The BP entry in Iraq [rare documentation]

First Release, 27 April 2011

These five documents are minutes of meetings about Iraq between the UK government and oil companies BP and Shell, ion the six months before the war. They were reported in the Independent on 19 April 2011.

The documents do not demonstrate that oil was the reason for the war. But they do show that during the preparations for war, oil was a central concern for the UK government, disproving its claims that it was not interested in Iraq’s oil.

The documents also provide a remarkable insight into the interaction between oil companies and government, at the highest levels. We see that the government needed no persuasion that it should help the companies – the civil servants clearly saw themselves as on the same side as the oilmen. The companies could barely contain their excitement about Iraq – “the big oil prospect”, as BP put it in one meeting (DOCUMENT 3) – and the tone is quite unlike that usually seen in minutes of government meetings. The companies and government officials alike had no doubt that a war would take place, months before the parliamentary vote and while the government struggling (unsuccessfully) to persuade the UN Security Council to pass resolution authorising the war.

From the company perspective, the main purpose of the meetings was to ensure that they got their share (as they saw it) of Iraqi oilfields after the war. They were especially worried that the US government would naturally favour US companies, and might offer other fields to French, Russian or Chinese companies in exchange for their governments’ support in the UN Security Council. Tony Blair had already pledged British participation in the war, and so the British companies feared that with no bargaining power they’d be left out.

Trade Minister Baroness Symons – a staunch Blairite and active member of the British American Project, which had aimed since the 1980s to align the Labour Party’s foreign policy with that of the USA – was present in two of the meetings. She said [DOCUMENT 2] that “It would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis”. In other words, if British forces fight in a war then British companies should get a share of the spoils. This view is clearly unethical, but is also arguably illegal, under the Fourth Hague Convention.

BP and Shell both claimed that no such meetings took place. These minutes show such claims to be untrue. When invited to explain the discrepancy, both companies declined to comment. For her part, Symons said to Parliament in April 2003 that Iraq’s oil was “the patrimony of the people of Iraq, which should be used for their benefit, and for their benefit alone” – this was not what she said in private to the oil companies.

For more commentary on these documents, including the companies’ objectives and their history of deals with the Saddam regime, please see Chapter Four of Fuel on the Fire. For more on the UK and US governments’ strategic oil objectives, please see Chapter Three.

  • DOCUMENT  1 – Meeting of Edward Chaplin (Middle East Director, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)) with Tony Wildig (Senior Vice President for New Business in Middle East, Shell), 2 October 2002.


Chaplin: “Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in it for the sake of their long-term future… We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq.”

DOCUMENT 2 – Meeting of Baroness Liz Symons (Trade Minister) with representatives of BP (Richard Paniguian, Tony Renton), Shell (John Withrington, Gavin Graham) and BG (Bethell), 31 October 2002.

BP: Iraq “would provide an immense strategic advantage to any company which emerged in a commanding position”

Symons: “Anything of this nature would be highly sensitive and kept very close”.

DOCUMENT 3 – Meeting of Michael Arthur (Head of Economic Policy, FCO) with Richard Paniguian (Group Vice President for Russia, the Caspian, Middle East and Africa), 6 November 2002.

“Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP are desperate to get in there.”

BP: “Vitally important – more important than anything we’ve seen for a long time.”

DOCUMENT 4 – Meeting of Baroness Symons with Richard Paniguian and Tony Renton (Commercial Director Middle East, BP), 4 December 2002

Discussion of US planning efforts for Iraqi oil. “It was clear that Ahmad Chalabi, the leader of the INC [Iraq National Congress] had a key role in selecting who was involved in these groups”.
“BP believed that the US authorities need to start giving some serious consideration to a number of issues on the future of Iraq’s oil industry including Iraq’s role in OPEC, the role of both existing and future Oil Ministry and State Owned Oil Company.”
Note that BP wanted more involvement of Iraqi expertise – presumably for greater stability for any investment.

DOCUMENT 5 – Meeting of John Browne (Chief Executive, BP) with Michael Jay (Permanent Undersecretary, FCO), 18 March 2003

This meeting took place less than 48 hours before bombs started falling on Baghdad, at the highest level: the head of BP with the most senior civil servant in the FCO. Of Jay’s five predecessors in that role, four had become directors of oil and gas companies on retirement from government service (two at Shell and one each at BP and BG).
BP had a team ready. But in the longer-term development of Iraq’s oilfields “They would not wish to be involved unless they were clear that administrative and other structures were in place to ensure that their involvement would be acceptable to whatever government followed military action”. This political conservatism by the major oil companies would shape the evolution of Iraqi oil policy during the early years of the occupation. Note however that Browne did not apparently make the more common point that such deals would have to be legal.

Second Release – 27 April 2011

These three documents set out the British government’s objectives for Iraqi oil, and its strategies for how to achieve them. They were reported in the Independent on 20 April 2011.

The documents stand in stark contrast to public claims by the government that it had no interest in Iraq’s oil. For example, Tony Blair said in February 2003 that “The oil conspiracy theory is honestly one of the most absurd when you analyse it.” Three months later, a Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) strategy paper (DOCUMENT 6) would declare, “The future shape of the Iraqi oil industry will affect oil markets, and the functioning of OPEC, in both of which we have a vital interest.” That paper was written less than two weeks after President Bush declared “mission accomplished” on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.
The nature of British and American interests in Iraqi and Middle Eastern oil is explored in Chapter 3 of Fuel on the Fire. It is not as simple as to ‘take the oil’ (as Donald Trump has been saying over the last few weeks as a launchpad for his presidential campaign). And nor is it just about getting contracts for their own companies, although that was a secondary aim, as discussed in the pre-war Whitehall meetings. The most important strategic interest lay in expanding global energy supplies, through foreign investment, in some of the world’s largest oil reserves – in particular Iraq. This meshed neatly with the secondary aim of securing contracts for their companies. Note that the strategy documents released here tend to refer to “British and global energy supplies”. British energy security is to be obtained by there being ample global supplies – it is not about the specific flow, as if physical Iraqi oil goes to China rather than Europe, another source (say, in Africa) can be re-rerouted from China to Europe in its place.
Chapters 9 and 11 of Fuel on the Fire look at how Britain and the USA sought to achieve their oil objectives during the early years of the occupation (before the formation of a permanent government in 2006). Those chapters contextualise and interpret these three British strategy documents; they also reflect on the favoured euphemism of “advice” (which implies that Iraqi leaders were independently able to take or leave the advice).
DOCUMENT 6 – Iraqi oil and British interests, FCO paper, 12 May 2003

As its title suggests, this document is quite blunt about British interests, not bothering to dress up its proposals as being in Iraqi interests. And it notes the interplay between British energy security and commercial interests.

DOCUMENT 7 – Management change in the Iraqi oil sector, 27 May 2003

Two weeks later, this document was prepared for an interdepartment meeting of the government’s Oil Sector Liaison Group, comprising officials from the FCO, the Treasury, the Department of Trade & Industry and the Department for International Development.
Unlike the previous document, this expresses its aims as being in the interests of Iraqis – yet of the seven items in the objectives list on page 4, five are quite plainly British rather than Iraqi concerns. Even the other two (the 4th and 5th) are only what outsiders imagine Iraqi concerns to be, rather inaccurately.
Note especially the aim for Iraq to be a role model for the other major oil countries in the region, and the call for it to remain within OPEC but as an advocate of lower oil prices.

DOCUMENT 8 – UK Energy Strategy for Iraq, September 2004

This too was an interdepartmental paper, and is quite clear about how Britain would influence the evolving Iraqi oil policy. Note especially the recognition that Iraqis won’t like the plans.


Exxon Valdez : The Prince William Sound Oil Spill and the Oil Plague [audiovisual documentation of the cover up]

On March 23, 1989 the Exxon Valdez an oil supertanker operated by Exxon and under the command of Captain Joseph J. Hazelwood left the port of Valdez headed for Long beach, CA with 53,094,510 gallons of oil on board. Shortly after midnight on March 24, 1989, the supertanker collided with Bligh Reef, a well known navigation hazard, ruptured 8 of its 11 cargo tanks and spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine waters of Prince William Sound. The result was catastrophic. Although the spill was radioed in shortly after the collision Exxon’s response was slow. In fact, there was no recovery effort for three days while Exxon searched for clean up equipment. During that time millions of gallons of oil began to spread down the coast. Days later as the clean up effort began the oil slick was no longer containable. It eventually extended 470 miles to the southwest, contaminated hundreds of miles of coastline and utterly destroyed the ecosystem.

[PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THE THREE IMAGE LINKS SO YOU CAN UNDERSTAND,THANKS]

oilSpillRange_map

Photo Credit: Composite done by the Exxon Valdez Trustee Council from an original map by the Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

Description: Blue areas illustrate oil slick spread of 11,000 sq. miles.

These are the well known facts of the spill but there is much more to the story. Here is the Whole Truth. The history of the spill really began back in 1973 when Congress authorized the Trans-Alaska pipeline. This allowed oil companies including Exxon to access the crude oil from Alaska’s North Slope and transport it to the lower 48 states. While this meant great wealth for the oil companies it also jeopardized the waters of the Prince William Sound and the fisheries which drove the economy in the region.

EVOS-Plaintiff-Map

Lower48(1)

Exxon, along with the rest of the oil industry knew that navigating a large supertanker through the icy and treacherous waters of Prince William Sound was extremely complicated. It also knew that Alaska was not equipped to contain a large oil spill. In fact the contingency plan in place at the time acknowledged that a spill over 8.4 million gallons could not be contained and would result in long term consequences. Armed with this knowledge the oil companies promised to use great care to avoid a spill.

Exxon broke that promise. Despite the risk of a spill, Exxon knowingly allowed Captain Hazelwood, a relapsed alcoholic, to command its supertanker through these treacherous waters. For nearly three years before the spill Exxon officials ignored repeated reports of Hazelwood’s relapse and failed to enforce its substance abuse policies. In fact, Hazelwood was allowed to continue operating the supertanker even though his driver’s license had been revoked for operating a motor vehicle under the influence.

It was no surprise that on the evening of March 23, 1989 Hazelwood visited two local bars and consumed between 5 and 9 double shots (15 to 27 ounces of 80 proof alcohol) before boarding the ship. Even though he was the only officer on board licensed to navigate through Prince William Sound, in his drunken state, he turned the helm over to a fatigued third mate who was not qualified to steer the ship. Shortly thereafter, as the Exxon Valdez picked up speed it left the shipping lanes and collided with Bligh Reef. Today the Exxon Valdez oil spill is still considered the worst oil spill in our nation’s history.

The first call

Hazelwood radios in to inform the Valdez Traffic Center he has hit Bligh Reef with the ExxonValdez oil tanker.

Excerpt of transcript of radio transmission recorded by the Vessel Traffic Center, Valdez, Alaska on March 23 and 24, 1989 relating to the grounding of the Exxon Valdez.

Written transcript:LISTEN NOW

HAZELWOOD: Yeah, Valdez Traffic. EXXON VALDEZ. Over.

VTC: EXXON VALDEZ. Valdez traffic.

HAZELWOOD: Yeah. Ah, it’s VALDEZ back. Ah, we’ve— ah, should be on your radar there— we’ve fetched up, ah, hard aground north of, ah, Good Island off Bligh Reef. And, ah, evidently, ah, leaking some oil, and, ah, we’re gonna be here for a while. And, ah, if you want, ah, so you’re notified. Over.

Exxon promised to make Prince William Sound whole again.

WATCH NOW

Alaska President of Exxon, Dan Cornett, spoke to the citizens of Prince William Sound and promised to make them whole. This is an excerpt of this speech, filmed during a community meeting in Prince William Sound following the oil spill.”

Written transcript:

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: Is Exxon shipping company prepared to reimburse commercial fisherman for the lost income, fisheries –

DAN CORNETT: You won’t have a problem. I don’t care if you believe that, that’s the truth. You have had some good luck and you don’t realize it. You have Exxon and we do business straight.

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER 2: Don’t stand up there and lie to us.

DAN CORNETT: We will consider whatever it takes to keep you whole. Now, that’s– you have my word on that. Dan Cornett. I told you that.

The U.S. Government has at times orchestrated and participated in the cover-up, suppression, and or the delay in release of scientific findings related to historical events, sometimes based on sound reasoning out of a calculated sense of duty to ensure the survival of the Republic, and even the human race, while at other times out of what can only be characterized as arrogance or paranoid delusion and a sense of entitlement by a certain class of individuals that believe democracy works better in the shadows than in the light of day.

Of the more recent and perhaps unintentional cover-ups is that of the facts, findings, and lessons learned on the March 24th, 1989 Alaskan Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Complicit in the cover-up are a few corporate bag-men, slick revolving-door lobbyists, corrupt politicians, and bought and paid for mainstream news media mouthpieces that through greed, lies, omissions, misinformation, political pandering, double-speak, and ignorance of the past, now have a black stain on their hands that will not wash away anytime soon, no sooner at least than the sorrow of a nation. This book will hopefully bring much of this information to the light of day.

Twenty years after the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, oil persists in the region and, in some places, “is nearly as toxic as it was the first few weeks after the spill,” according to the council overseeing restoration efforts.

“This Exxon Valdez oil is decreasing at a rate of 0-4 percent per year,” the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council stated in a report marking Tuesday’s 20th anniversary of the worst oil spill in U.S. waters. “At this rate, the remaining oil will take decades and possibly centuries to disappear entirely.”

The council’s findings come two decades after the March 24, 1989 disaster, when the single-hulled Exxon tanker hit a reef, emptying its contents into Alaskan waters. The spill contaminated more than 1,200 miles of shoreline and killed hundreds of thousands of seabirds and marine animals.

Captain convicted of misdemeanor
The council, made up of three state and three federal appointees, was created to administer the $900 million that Exxon paid to settle lawsuits filed after the accident, which also resulted in criminal charges against the ship’s captain, Joseph Hazelwood.

Hazelwood, was accused but then acquitted on a charge of being drunk at the time. He was, however, convicted of negligent discharge of oil, a misdemeanor, and sentenced to a $50,000 fine and 1,000 hours of community service.

In the weeks and months following the spill, thousands of people tried to clean up the contamination. But two decades later, oil persists and is estimated to total around 20,000 gallons, according to the council. One of the lessons learned is that a spill’s impacts can last a long time in a habitat with calm, cold waters like Prince William Sound, the council said.

“Following the oil and its impacts over the past 20 years has changed our understanding of the long-term damage from an oil spill,” the council stated. “We know that risk assessment for future spills must consider what the total damages will be over a longer period of time, rather than only the acute damages in the days and weeks following a spill.”

“One of the most stunning revelations” from studies over the last decade, the council said, “is that Exxon Valdez oil persists in the environment and, in places, is nearly as toxic as it was the first few weeks after the spill.”

As a result, some sea otter populations as well as bird species have been slow to recover. Overall, some 200,000 seabirds and 4,000 otters were thought to have died from the contamination.

Oil found 450 miles away
Moreover, surveys “have documented lingering oil also on the Kenai Peninsula and the Katmai coast, over 450 miles away,” according to the council.

None of that was expected “at the time of the spill or even ten years later,” it added. “In 1999, beaches in the sound appeared clean on the surface. Some subsurface oil had been reported in a few places, but it was expected to decrease over time and most importantly, to have lost its toxicity due to weathering. A few species were not recovering at the expected rate in some areas, but continuing exposure to oil was not suspected as the primary cause.”

It turns out that oil often got trapped in semi-enclosed bays for weeks, going up and down with the tide and some of it being pulled down into the sediment below the seabed.

“The cleanup efforts and natural processes, particularly in the winter, cleaned the oil out of the top 2-3 inches, where oxygen and water can flow,” the council said, “but did little to affect the large patches of oil farther below the surface.”

Sea otter concerns
That area is also biologically rich with mussels, clams and other marine life that help sustain sea otters and ducks.

“Sea otters usually have very small home ranges of a few square kilometers,” the council said. “In these small ranges, it is unlikely that the otters are avoiding areas of lingering oil when foraging.

As a result, “while overall population numbers in western Prince William Sound have recovered, local populations in heavily oiled areas have not recovered as quickly.”

There is a plus side to the foraging by otters, since digging in oiled areas does release the contaminants to the water, where they are diluted and dispersed.

Bird concerns
The American Bird Conservancy issued its own warning, stating that while many bird species have recovered several significant ones have not.

The spill killed 5-10 percent of the world’s population of Kittlitz’s Murrelets, the group said, a species whose numbers declined 99 percent from 1972 to 2004.

“Prior to the spill, the rate of decline was 18 percent per year, but since 1989 that rate has increased to 31 percent,” the group stated. “The growing impact of global warming in the Arctic and the melting of glaciers, caused by the burning of oil and other fossil fuels, may also be a factor in this decline.”

Two other species cited are: the Pigeon Guillemot, whose populations have steadily declined throughout the sound since the spill; and the Marbled Murrelet, which has not met the recovery objective of a stable population.

The group cited a faster transition to double-hulled oil tankers as the best protection for wildlife. Single-hulled tankers are still allowed in U.S. waters until 2015.

“A similar requirement for double-hulled tankers needs to be made globally to protect birds and other wildlife from future spills,” said Michael Fry, the group’s conservation director. “Additional marine reserves and no-go zones for tankers during sensitive breeding and staging seasons should also be implemented to protect the most vulnerable species.”[read more]

Here are some of the most startling statistics about the effects of the Exxon Valdez spill on marine wildlife, fisheries and the region’s economy:

  • The amount of oil spilled could fill 125 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • As many as 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 900 bald eagles and 250,000 seabirds died in the days following the disaster.
  • 1,300 miles of coastline were hit by the oil spill.
  • 1,000 harlequin ducks were killed by the oil spill, in addition to many chronic injuries that occurred as a result of the long term effects of the spill.
  • The cleanup required about 10,000 workers, 1,000 boats and roughly 100 airplanes and helicopters.
  • Four deaths were directly associated with cleanup efforts.
  • The spill caused over $300 million of economic harm to more than 32 thousand people whose livelihoods depended on commercial fishing.
  • Tourism spending decreased by eight percent in south central Alaska and by 35 percent in southwest Alaska in the year after the spill.
  • There was a loss of 9,400 visitors and $5.5 million in state spending.
  • Many fish populations were harmed during the spill. For example, sand lance populations went down in 1989 and 1990, herring returns were significantly fewer in 1992 and 1994 and adult fish had high rates of viral infections.
  • Pink salmon embryos continued to be harmed and killed by oil that remained on stones and gravel of stream banks through at least 1993. As a result, the southwestern part of Prince William Sound lost 1.9 million or 28 percent of its potential stock of wild pink salmon. By 1992, this part of the sound still had 6 percent less of the wild pink salmon stock than was estimated to have existed if the spill had not occurred.
  • Two years following the Exxon Valdez spill, the economic losses to recreational fishing were estimated to be $31 million.
  • Twelve years after the spill, oil could still be found on half of the 91 randomly selected beaches surveyed.
  • Three species of cormorant, the common loon, the harbor seal, the harlequin duck, the pacific herring and the pigeon guillemot still have not fully recovered.

Help stop future oil spills and protect wildlife. Sign the petition to Stop the Drill today!


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