Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Weird, Weird Web Around Amazon Oil

It's like something from a spy novel, involving a man nicknamed Dr. Death, the Vietnam War, jungle oil reserves and possible ties to cocaine smuggling and the CIA.

The tale begins with MontcoEnergy LC, a previously unknown oil company, which was assigned five petroleum exploration regions last year by Colombia's National Hydrocarbon Agency (ANH). However, in a statement this May, the ANH said, mysteriously, that it had reversed its decision "for reasons anticipated in the law." The statement added that "the relevant authorities have been apprised of this situation."

A Colombian oil well. 
Good for the ANH. But perhaps they should have known this from the start. After all, Montco apparently does not even have a working website. So, can they really be trusted with a chunk of Colombia's biodiversity and energy resources?

Then the story becomes even more dubious. La Silla Vacia reports that a Canadian oil company  investigated Montco and found that the company's records weren't in order. And that ANH officials discovered that Montco's supposed offices in Texas and Canada were just post office boxes and that an oil well which Montco claimed to own in the small west African nation of Gabon apparently does not exist. A Gabonese official says that his signature on documents provided by Montco is forged.

Now the tale turns sinister: Also according to La Silla Vacia, two of Montco's three owners are linked, thru another oil company they own, to a narcotrafficker named Chupeta. El Tiempo reports other contacts between Montco and shady characters.

Weirdest of all, Montco hasn't given up on getting oil exploration rights. And the guy representing the company in Colombia is David Scott Weekly, who earned the nickname Dr. Death by carrying out special operations in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

Weekly has also been linked to the CIA in news reports, altho the CIA denies this.

What's behind all of this? An unknown company with dubious associations offers millions of dollars for Colombian oil prospecting rights and hires a Dr. Death to lobby for it.

It also so happens that lots of Colombian cocaine passes thru West Africa on its way to Europe, altho apparently little thru Gabon.

All of which suggests where these millions of dollars might have come from.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

No comments: