Oscar R. Wyatt, Jr., a Houston, Texas, oilman, is currently standing trial, "accused of funneling millions of dollars" to Saddam Hussein's "regime to get Iraq's permission to buy Iraqi crude under the United Nations' oil-for-food program," David Ivanovich reported September 12, 2007, in the Houston Chronicle.
"Charged with fraud, conspiracy and violating U.S. sanctions, Wyatt, if convicted on all counts, could be sentenced to 74 years in prison." He has not been charged with "violating U.S. law by traveling to Iraq" "between 1991 and 1997, at a time when that country was subject to international sanctions." He is "charged with supplying satellite equipment to Saddam's regime during an alleged trip there," Ivanovich wrote.
An archived profile of Wyatt dating from Spring 1994 states:
- Oscar Wyatt, at age 65, is one of the richest, toughest, shrewdest, most powerful, and ruthless oil barons in Texas. "Wyatt takes a backseat to no one in the pantheon of takeover artists...remaining one of the most successful men to set foot in the oil patch. He's also one of the most despised".
- Oscar Wyatt is also a brilliant, controversial, businessman, who almost single handedly built the Coastal Corporation, of which he is chairman and a substantial shareholder, into one of the largest energy companies in Texas with assets of nine billion dollars". His "name strikes fear in the heart of every pipeline executive," says William Greehey, a formal Coastal official who now runs Valero Energy Corporation. Wyatt just isn't tough on pipeline executives. "In the early 1970's he cut off winter gas supplies to San Antonio and Austin, igniting one of the nastiest legal fights in the states history. He has sued the federal government, as well as numerous oil companies...also when the Houston Chronicle compared him to J.R. Ewing of Dallas, Wyatt sued the paper".
- Wyatt is an unavoidable character in the oil patch. He controls one of the six giant pipelines in the U.S. These pipelines haul gas into various markets, where it is used in big industries and for home heating and cooking.
- Wyatt keeps up on the world energy market through his vast international connections. "He is good friends with several OPEC ministers and many traders. At cartel meetings he can be seen hobnobbing with big oil types, lining up deals and gathering information". For example "when the Gulf War broke out, Oscar flew to Iraq, from which he buys oil, supposedly to persuade Saddam Hussein to release some of the hostages he was holding as human shields. Oscar Wyatt once again was successful.
Related SourceWatch articles
- David Ivanovich, "Wyatt traveled to Iraq when it was under sanctions, witness says," Houston Chronicle, September 12, 2007.
- Lara Manasco, "Oscar Wyatt (CEO Coastal): Role Profile," University of Texas (ListServ), April 8, 1994.
- "Oscar Wyatt, chairman, Coastal Oil & Gas Corp.," Bibliography/University of Texas (ListServ), March 6, 1997.
- Mimi Swartz, "Oil's well that ends well: Oscar Wyatt and Michel Halbouty say the wildcatter's world is gone. So why is Houston thriving?" Texas Monthly, September 2001.
- Julie Cresswell, "Old Raiders Never Die They Just Get Even. Oscar Wyatt lost a ton of money on El Paso. Now he's trying to throw the bums out. And he just may succeed," Fortune/CNN, June 23, 2003.
- Simon Romero and Eric Lipton, "The Man Who Bought the Oil From Iraq," New York Times, October 19, 2004.
- Tom Kirkendall, "Oscar Wyatt's deal with the devil," Houston's Clear Thinkers Blog, October 19, 2004.
- Tom Kirkendall, "Oscar Wyatt indicted in Oil-for-Food scandal," Houston's Clear Thinkers Blog, October 22, 2005.
- David J. Lynch, "Prison term could cap oil trader's legendary career," USA TODAY, December 22, 2005.
- David Ivanovich, "Oscar Wyatt a Texas oil patch legend. Tycoon despised by some, admired by others," Houston Chronicle, September 1, 2007.
- Daniel Trotta, "Texas oil tycoon Wyatt in legal fight of his life," Reuters, September 5, 2007.
- Kenneth P. Vogel, "Politicians took money from indicted oilman," The Politico, September 13, 2007.