Hunt Oil Company
The privately-held Hunt Oil Company—"one of the big money Texas donors behind the Bush family political empire"—and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced September 8, 2007, that "they've signed a production-sharing contract for petroleum exploration in northern Iraq, the first such deal since the Kurds passed their own oil and gas law in August.
"A Hunt subsidiary, Hunt Oil Co. of the Kurdistan Region, will begin geological survey and seismic work by the end of 2007 and hopes to drill an exploration well in 2008, the parties said in a news release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed." Acquired by the Korea National Oil Corporation in 2011.
The Hunt Oil Company describes itself as a
- "...privately held exploration and production company... [which] has successfully conducted worldwide petroleum operations for 70 years. Today we are one of the world's leading independent energy companies."
According to Hoover's, the company has
- "...primary interests in North and South America. Hoping to repeat huge discoveries in Yemen, Hunt is exploring in Canada, Ghana, Madagascar, and Oman. It has also teamed up with Repsol YPF and SK Corporation on an exploration project in Peru, and has expanded its Canadian operations through the acquisition of Chieftain International."
Visits by a Hunt-owned plane to the CIA's Camp Peary facility
Between November 27 and November 28, 2006, a civil aircraft registered to Hunt Oil's holding company, Hunt Consolidated, Inc., made two visits to the CIA's Camp Peary training facility. Prior to flying into Camp Peary it made an overnight stop at Washington Dulles airport. It also made a briefer stop at Washington Dulles at the end of its visit. The aircraft's registration number is N46F.
Hunt Oil's operations in Peru
According to a November, 2005 article in Salon,
- "Among Hunt's biggest projects is the controversial $2.6 billion Camisea liquefied natural gas project in Peru, which will soon begin delivering gas to markets on the West Coast of the U.S."
Amazon Watch has this to say about the project:
- "Peru's Camisea Gas Project is arguably the most damaging project in the Amazon Basin at the time of writing. Located in the remote Lower Urubamba Basin in the south-eastern Peruvian Amazon, the $1.6 billion project includes two pipelines to the Peruvian coast, cutting through an Amazon biodiversity hotspot described by scientists as "the last place on earth" to drill for fossil fuels... In the first 18 months after it became operational in August 2004, the Camisea pipeline, which runs from the Amazon, over the Andes, to the Pacific Coast, has ruptured four times, with at least three major spills. This appalling record is highly unusual for such a pipeline and comes despite repeated assurances from the downstream consortium and the Inter-American Development Bank that no such problems would occur. According to a February 2006 independent report by non-profit engineering consultancy E-Tech International, the pipeline was constructed by unqualified and untrained welders using corroded piping and rushing to avoid onerous late completion fees that would have totalled $90 million."
The frequent spills led Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines and the country's energy regulator to conduct an emergency technical review of the pipeline in December 2005. And indigenous groups responded to the spills by blockading the Urubamba River.
Operations in Yemen
In November 2005, the government of Yemen attempted to nationalize the operation of the concession, which is known as Block 18. Hunt Oil responded by filing arbitration against the Yemeni government at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.
- Marcy Wheeler, "The Hunt for Oil," The Next Hurrah Blog, September 9, 2007.
- John Porretto, "Dallas Oil Company Signs Deal With Kurds," Associated Press (Washington Post), September 8, 2007.
- About Us page on Hunt Oil's website, accessed January 26, 2007
- Google finance page on Hunt Consolidated, accessed January 26, 2007.
- Company history page on Hunt Oil's website, accessed January 26, 2007
- Flight log for N46F between September 25, 2006 and January 24, 2007.
- Biography of Ray Hunt on Hunt Oil's website, accessed January 26, 2007.
- Robert Bryce, "Top-secret cronies", Salon.com, November 17, 2005.
- Amazon Watch's homepage on the Camisea Natural Gas Project. Undated, accessed January 28, 2006.
- "Spill-Prone Amazon Pipeline Constructed with Corroded Piping and Unqualified Welders, Says Independent Report", press release, Amazon Watch, February 27, 2006.
- "Peru Threatens to Revoke Hunt Oil’s Pipeline Concession After Repeated Spills in the Rainforest", press release, Amazon Watch, December 8, 2005.
- "Vice president Bush visits Persian Gulf - excerpts from George Bush's remarks on his trip", US Department of State Bulletin, June 1986. Via findarticles.com.
- Eric O'Keefe, "2 U.S. oil firms challenging Yemen", The New York Times, November 24, 2005.