‘International Bandit’ Trump Has Plan To Protect Syrian Oil Fields. And It May Require The Same Number Of Troops As Before

When Donald Trump said he was keen on withdrawing all US troops from Syria (besides those necessary to pacify Israel), what he really meant was all troops except for the ones the US might need to effectively lay claim to some oil fields. On Wednesday, in the course of explaining to the public how a mini-genocide targeting America's Kurdish allies in the country was actually "a great outcome", Trump described Syria as little more than "blood-stained sand". He did offer up one caveat to his char

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2 thoughts on “‘International Bandit’ Trump Has Plan To Protect Syrian Oil Fields. And It May Require The Same Number Of Troops As Before

  1. The stupidity in all this is well beyond absurd and insane.

    Point one, Syria doesn’t have much oil:

    From WSJ:

    Following the U.S-led campaign against the militant group, production fell by half again, before rebounding to about 30,000 barrels a day last year. *

    “Oil, like it or not, is owned by the Syrian state,” Mr. McGurk said Monday in an appearance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank. “Maybe there are new lawyers, but it was just illegal for an American company to go and seize and exploit these assets.”

    Mr. McGurk said that the only way to export the oil legally, the State Department concluded at the time, was to have an arrangement in which the money was put in escrow for use by the Syrians after the civil war was over, an arrangement that would have involved Russia and the Assad government.

    But Mr. Trump’s talk about bringing in an American company to develop the oil fields represents a new concept, which follows conversations with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.).

    “The biggest fields are in the worst shape,” said Matthew Reed, an analyst at Washington-based consulting firm Foreign Reports. “We’re probably talking multibillion-dollar investments that won’t pay off for years, assuming ISIS doesn’t return or Assad doesn’t capture them.”

    Redeveloping existing oil fields is not exactly in the trump budget and providing any help to rebuild infrastructure will be related to lobby deals with trump gangster friends or partnerships with Russia and Turkey, but at what cost and why? It’s like suggesting trump should invade Peru to get ownership of a few oil wells. Of course there’s the issue of extracting oil and refining low-quality oil and making it into a more valuable blended product.

    ==> Report from 2011

    Syria faces shortages of
    gas oil and diesel, and needs additional domestic refining capacity to meet these needs. However,
    foreign oil companies have been reluctant to commit the investment needed to build new refineries in
    Syria without more support from the government. In December, 2010, Venezuela signed a
    Memorandum of Understanding to construct the 140,000 bbl/d Froklos refinery, a projects which had
    been stalled since an agreement to establish it was signed in March, 2008. Chinese officials have
    also discussed a long-delayed 70,000 bbl/d refinery project in Deir al-Zor, where construction was
    supposed to have begun in 2008.

    ==> Then an unusual rabbit hole which is curious:

    Investments of European companies in

    Shell’s interests in the licences expire between 2018 and 2024.6 All three contracts are
    concluded with the Syrian government and the state owned General Petroleum
    Corporation (GPC; previously Syrian Petroleum Company). The oil fields are operated by
    Al Furat Petroleum Company, in which SSPD holds a 31.25% interest. SSPD’s partner in
    the joint ventures is Himalaya Energy Syria B.V. which is a joint venture between the
    Indian ONGC Videsh and CNPC from China.7

    7 Syria Shell Petroleum Development B.V., “Annual Report 2009”, Syria Shell Petroleum Development B.V.,
    January 2011

    In a letter to IKV Pax Christi, Shell in May 2011 state that AFPC is 20% owned by Shell. Probably this is
    calculated by multiplying the 65% ownership by Royal Dutch Shell of SSPD with the 31.25% ownership of

    Shell has a long history in Syria. It has had a presence in the country since the 1940s and
    has been a shareholder in Al Furat Petroleum Company (AFPC) for some 25 years.1 In Syria,
    Shell is only active in the upstream segment of the oil sector.2
    The two subsidiaries of Shell active in Syria’s upstream oil sector, Syria Shell Petroleum
    Development and Shell South Syria Exploration, are discussed in the following paragraphs

    In May 2010 Shell announced that the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has
    acquired 35% in SSPD.3 Shell and CNPC stated that they will continue to look for attractive
    investment opportunities in Syria’s upstream industry together.4


  2. Like a good fox, I went down more rabbit holes, why … I have no clue, maybe genetic? In my adventure, I wanted to understand why trump would send troops to protect Syrian oil and hence the facilities. many of the older contracts and licenses between Syria and corporations like Shell have probably morphed into newer shadow arrangements, and obviously, ISIS added-in lots of chaos to the mix, even though it seemed like foreign people/entities remained in place to run the technical operations.

    As usual, a stupid maze of confusion in the dark holes, but if there are connections to Shell and China and India and Russia and Turkey — all having prior interests in this mess, why are American taxpayers and our military serving as human shields and sacrifices for foreign entities, who apparently don’t have rights to steal Syrian oil? It’s hard to not see a conspiracy and at least be curious about The Art of The Deal and to wonder if trump in some way has connected the protection of Syrian oil production to China tariffs and other foreign negotiations that are highly questionable. This might be a bit imaginative and maybe not worth wasting time on, but this looks like a pea and shell game.

    Here’s some weird feces found in the hole and of course, in no logical order, starting with Shell’s latest SEC filing:

    Shell South Syria Exploration Limited
    3rd Floor Continental Building, 25 Church Street, Hamilton, HM 12

    Syria Shell Petroleum Developme
    nt B.V. [j]
    Carel van Bylandtlaan 30, The Hague, 2596 HR

    Syriaga Neftegaz Development LLC
    Novinsky blvd, 31, Moscow, 123242

    l Badiah Petroleum Company
    Damascus New Sham Western Dummar, Island No 1 – Property 2299, P.O. Box 7660, Damascus

    Al Furat Petroleum Company
    Damascus New Sham Western Dummar, Island No 1 – Property 2299, P.O. Box 7660, Damascus


    We ceased supplying polyols, via a Netherlands-based distributor, to
    private sector customers in Syria in 2018. Polyols are commonly used for the production of foam in mattresses and soft furnishings.


    ===> In late May, the US officially asked the Dutch government to partake in a new military mission in Northern Syria to avoid the development of a power vacuum in the region.

    The American ambassador to the Netherlands sought to place additional pressure on the Dutch government to comply with the request by repeatedly invoking its criticism of the partial US withdrawal from Syria in December 2018.

    Indeed, when US President Donald Trump announced a major withdrawal of the US military from Syria last year, the Dutch were among the staunchest critics. Stef Blok, the minister of foreign affairs, argued that the withdrawal could lead to a change in regional power dynamics and new rounds of fighting. The minister of defense, Ank Bijleveld, criticized the administration’s self-declared complete victory over ISIS in the face of the ongoing presence of thousands of ISIS-fighters in Iraq and Syria.


    ==> Shell South Syria Exploration Limited


    The Scheme Secretary
    Peter Borland:
    Corporate Secretary,
    Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies,

    Peter Borland joined Shell
    in 2002 as Company
    Secretary for the Group
    entities in Bermuda, after
    20 years with the Bank
    of Bermuda (now HSBC).

    Type of business

    Downstream & Corporate Functions The Shell Group

    ==> Curious:

    United States Court of Appeals,Fifth Circuit.

    Annie KELLY;  Jeanette Carpenter, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. SYRIA SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT B.V., et al., Defendants,

    Syria Shell Petroleum Development B.V.;  Al Furat Petroleum Company; etc., etc., etc

    Concerning § 1603(b)(2)’s “ownership” prong, the Syrian government owns Syrian Petroleum Company (not a party), which owns 50% of Al Furat.   Therefore, at issue for that prong is the requisite majority status.   But, because we conclude that Al Furat is an organ of a foreign state, we need not consider § 1603(b)(2)’s ownership requirements.

    The evidence is sufficient to support the district court’s conclusion that Al Furat made a prima facie showing it is an organ of Syria.   With respect to the first Supra factor, Olsen’s declaration establishes that Al Furat was created by a Syrian government decree for a national purpose:  the development and exploration of Syria’s mineral resources, pursuant to Syria’s policy that all minerals under the surface remain the property of Syria and will be explored and developed in a manner that will best serve the interests of Syria.  

    The prerequisites for establishing personal jurisdiction over a corporation, based on the contacts of its subsidiary, are described in Hargrave v. Fibreboard Corp., 710 F.2d 1154 (5th Cir.1983).

    [S]o long as a parent and subsidiary maintain separate and distinct corporate entities, the presence of one in a forum state may not be attributed to the other․  Generally, our cases demand proof of control by the parent over the internal business operations and affairs of the subsidiary in order to fuse the two for jurisdictional purposes․  The degree of control exercised by the parent must be greater than that normally associated with common ownership and directorship․  All the relevant facts and circumstances surrounding the operations of the parent and subsidiary must be examined to determine whether two separate and distinct corporate entities exist.

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