OIL'S HIDDEN ROLE IN LATIN AMERICA
This announcement also angered human and labor rights advocates in both the U.S. and Colombia as the U.S. was now solidifying a cozier military alliance with by far the worst labor and human rights abuser in the Western Hemisphere. . .
While the U.S. has claimed for years that it is fighting a drug war in Colombia, though having to sheepishly admit year after year that its ostensible efforts have not yielded any decrease whatsoever in the amount of coca grown in Colombia or cocaine exported to the U.S., the real reason for the war has always been the control of Colombia's rich oil resources.
Indeed, at a Congressional hearing in 2000, entitled "Drugs and Social Policy in Colombia" – a hearing to debate the relative merits of Clinton's new Plan Colombia, pursuant to which the U.S. has sent billions of dollars of military assistance to Colombia – one of the key witnesses invited to testify in support of this policy was none other than Lawrence Meriage, the Vice-President of Occidental Petroleum. Not surprisingly, Mr. Meriage had nothing to say about drugs or social policy in Colombia, but a lot to say about the need for military assistance to protect his oil pipelines.
Now, according to a January 19, 2010 Bloomberg article, "The Export-Import Bank of the United States [a U.S. government agency] announced Jan. 19 its approval of a $1 billion preliminary commitment to help finance the sale of goods and services from various U.S. exporters to Ecopetrol S.A., Colombia's national oil company." It should be noted that Ecopetrol is a business partner with L.A.-based Occidental Petroleum.
Citing an industry expert, the Bloomberg article goes on to explain that "Ecopetrol is being aggressive in exploration and production," and that, with the help of the financing from the Export-Import Bank, "Ecopetrol will almost double to 1 million barrels daily by 2015 as the company drills more wells in Colombia and neighboring South American nations."
World Oil - Amidst the utter devastation left in the wake of the earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12th, new findings indicate the existence of 3 million barrels of oil in a shallow formation offshore the island.
The Greater Antilles, which includes Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and their offshore waters, probably hold at least 142 million barrels of oil and 159 billion cubic feet of gas, according to a 2000 report by the US Geological Survey. Undiscovered amounts may be as high as 941 million barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the report.
Among nations in the northern Caribbean, Cuba and Jamaica have awarded offshore leases for oil and gas development. Trinidad & Tobago, South American islands off the coast of Venezuela, account for most Caribbean oil production, according to the US Energy Department.
According to French scientist Daniel Mathurin, "The Central Plateau, including the region of Thomond, the plain of the cul-de-sac and the bay of Port-au-Prince are filled with oil". He added that "Haiti's oil reserves are larger than those of Venezuela . An Olympic pool compared to a glass of water that is the comparison to show the importance of oil Haitian compared to those of Venezuela."
US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY REPORTS LARGE OIL FIELDS IN VENEZUELA