Oil: including the Special Cases of Peru and Venezuela

September 25, 2007

As of December 1967, 52 percent of Standard Oil of New Jersey's assets were abroad. It was the world's biggest private overseas investor, with operations in over 100 nations. Its assets of $13.8 billion were greater than the U.S. government's gold supply. It had a tanker fleet of 126 ships and operated 65,000 service stations. It sold one out of every seven gallons of fuel marketed in the "free world." Source: Time, December 29, 1967.-10- STATISTICS ON FOUR ROCKEFELLER-CONTROLLED OIL COMPANIES - 1967 Rank Company HQ's Sales Assets Employees 2 Standard Oil N.J. New York City $13.3 billion $15.2 billion 150,000 6 Mobil Oil New York City 5.8 billion 6.2 billion 79,800 12 Standard Oil Calif. San Francisco 3.3 billion 5.3 billion 47,771 17 Standard Oil Ind. Chicago 2.9 billion -4.1 billion 45,375 Source: The Fortune Directory of 500 Largest Industrial Corporations (ranked by sales), June 15, 1968. A LIST OF SUBSIDIARIES AND JOINT VENTURES OF FOUR ROCKEFELLER-CONTROLLED OIL COMPANIES AND THEIR OPERATIONS IN LATIN AMERICA The following list includes data on the Latin American operations of four major oil com- panies, all descendants of the original Standard Oil Trust assembled by John D. Rocke- feller, Sr., which are generally acknowledged to be controlled by the Rockefeller family and their allied families. No exact accounting of the Rockefeller family's current holdings in these companies has been made public. The most recent systematic reckoning of the family's holdings uses data gathered by the Temporary National Economic Committee (see Victor Perlo, The Empire of High Finance, International Publishers, New York, 1957, Appendix 1). These calculations of the percentages of Rockefeller family holdings are included below for each parent company. Though computed in 1956, it is doubtful that these figures have changed significantly. The data on subsidiaries is from Moody's In- dustrial Manual, 1968. The list omits finance and shipping subsidiaries located in the Bahamas, Bermuda and Panama which are headquartered there primarily for tax and licensing advantages. The percent of ownership by the parent company is indicated in parenthesis following the subsidiary's name. STANDARD OIL (New Jersey)...13.5% Rockefeller holdings Creole Petroleum Corporation (95%): Producing, refining, transportation and marketing in Venezuela; operates one refinery in Netherlands, West Indies, and two in Colombia. Companfa de Petroleo Lago (100%): Shipping. Lago Investment Company. Formed in 1961 to purchase and hold government securities such as mortgage bonds issued to stimulate urban housing construction, bonds is- sued to finance public works, etc. Total investments of over $19 million. Creole Investment Corporation. Formed in 1961 to invest in local light industry and agriculture. Initial capital of $10 million, of which $7 million has been in- vested in 18 enterprises. Takes over 49 percent of the businesses it finances. Esso Inter-Americana, Inc. (100%): Under the Esso brand name, coordinates Jersey Stan- dard Oil's exploring, producing, transporting, refining and marketing in Argentina, Brazil, the Caribbean, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. International Petroleum Company, Ltd. (99.9%): Producing, transporting, refining and marketing in Colombia and Peru; marketing in Ecuador; producing interests in Vene- zuela (25% interest in Mene Grande). Refining subsidiaries in Jamaica, Nicaragua, El Salvadon, Argentina and formerly in Peru.-11- MOBIL OIL CORPORATION...16.3% Rockefeller holdings Under Mobil and Socony brand names, coordinates exploring, producing, transporting, re- fining and marketing oil, gas and petrochemicals in Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Colombian Petroleum Company (49.94%): Colombia. Companfa Inmobiliaria Samaria (100%): Peru. Desarrollos y Negocios, S.A. de Capital Variable (100Z): Mexico. STANDARD OIL (California)...11.9% Rockefeller holdings Under the Chevron brand name, coordinates exploring, producing, transportation, refin- ing and marketing of.oil, gas and petrochemicals in Brazil, the Canal Zone, Central America, Colombia (Zulia field), Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela (owns Bajo Grande re- finery on Lake Maracaibo). Bahama California Oil Company (100%): Exploring oil lands in marine areas under license by Jamaica. Under brand name Ortho, markets agricultural chemicals in Mexico and Central America. Qufmica Oronite S.A. (99.7%): Imports lubricating oil, additive components; owns 40 per- cent of Aditivos Mexicanos, S.A. Tierras e Inversiones Venezuela, C.A. (100%). Oleoducto de Zulia, S.A. (99.6%): Operates pipeline in Colombia. Refineria Petrolera de Guatemala-California, Inc. (60%): Owns refinery in Guatemala. Caribbean Bitumuls, Ltd. (50%): Owns Bitumuls plant in Jamaica. Refineria Concham-Chevron, S.A. (50%): Owns refinery at Concham Beach, Peru. STANDARD OIL (Indiana)...11.4% Rockefeller holdings Pan American Argentina Oil Company (100%): Exploring and producing. In 1958, contracted to develop oil production on Comodor Rivadavia area. In 1963, the Argentina govern- ment annulled a contract with the company. Agreement reached with the new government in 1966 provided that the state-owned oil agency would reimburse the company for all crude oil delivered but not paid for since inception of the contract ($61 million) less deduction ($15 million) to compensate the state-owned agency for wells drilled. Pan American Colombia Oil Company (100%): Owns 25 percent interest in exploration and production in three Colombian oil fields. Pan American Trinidad Oil Company (100%): Exploring and producing in offshore conces- sions in Trinidad. Pan American Venezuela Oil Company (100%): Exploring and producing in Lake Maracaibo area. Colombianos Distribuidores de Combustibles, S.A. (over 80%): Colombia. Imperial Gas Company of Puerto Rico, Inc. (50%): Puerto Rico. South American Gulf Oil Company (50%).PERU The forthcoming Rockefeller expedition to Latin America has particular importance for the situation in Peru. Just two days before the United States government was to enforce the sanctions of the Hickenlooper Amendment (cutting off aid and the preferential sugar quota), an announcement was made by Secretary of State Rogers that the action would be deferred. It is likely that the delaying tactic was taken in order to give Rockefeller a chance to complete his survey mission for Nixon. The Nixon policy toward Latin Amer- ica seems to be, at best, unsolidified, and it is probable that Nixon will depend heav- ily on Rockefeller's experience and influence in Latin America to formulate that policy. The appointment of John Irwin II as special presidential ambassador to Peru is a case in point. Irwin, whose impeccable credentials include a wife whose brother, Arthur K. Wat- son, is a board chairman of IBM, was a fitting choice as an advance-man for Rockefeller. He is a partner in a Rockefeller-associated law firm, a director of the U.S. Trust Com- pany of New York (a Rockefeller-controlled bank) and chairman of the board of directors of Union Theological Seminary which depends heavily on Rockefeller endowments. He is also the legal counsel for the Rockefeller Foundation. The New York Times speculated that Irwin had had more success in influencing the decision to delay sanctions than in winning over the Peruvian junta to the State Department point of view. The crisis itself - the nationalization of the International Petroleum Company, a Stan- dard Oil (New Jersey) subsidiary - directly affects Rockefeller interests. About $200 million of IPC assets were confiscated and the debt which the Peruvians claim is owed to them by IPC has escalated from $700 million to over a billion dollars. The Peruvian junta, in its more militant moments, has talked of other nationalizations; the Cerro Corporation, which has vast mining operations in Peru, has been mentioned in that con- text. Cerro has been conducting merger discussions - now delayed by the Peruvian situ- ation - with another Rockefeller oil company, Standard Oil of Indiana. Furthermore, the Chase Manhattan Bank - another Rockefeller interest - was given until January 2, 1970 to relinquish control of the Banco Continental of Peru (the country's fourth largest commercial bank). Through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Chase also operates an investment company in Peru. Two Rockefeller-controlled oil companies (in addition to the IPC) operate subsidiaries in Peru. Standard Oil of California has a 99 percent interest in the Compania de Petr6- leo Chevron S.A., which markets lubricants in Peru, and a 50 percent interest in Refinerfa Concham-Chevron S.A., which has a refinery at Concham Beach, Peru, producing 12,000 barrels of oil daily. The Mobil Oil Corporation has three wholly-owned subsid- iaries involved in title holding and petroleum exploration and marketing. The Rockefeller Foundation made grants totaling over $317,000 to Peru in 1967. In other arenas, the Rockefeller-controlled International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC) runs a sugar mill in northern Peru (which would be affected by a cut in the U.S. sugar quota), a chain of American-style supermarkets, a major poultry breeding operation and an in- surance brokerage business. In addition, the Chase Manhattan Bank has arranged several sizeable loans for the Peruvian government over the years. AN EXAMPLE OF THE ROCKEFELLERS' CONTACTS IN PERU "A memorial mass will be offered today for Manuel'I. Prado....Mr. Prado, who was a son and grandson of former presidents of Peru, died November 9 in Rio de Janeiro....During World War II, he was assistant to Nelson A. Rockefeller who was then Coordinator of Latin American Affairs in the State Department. Before that, Mr. Prado worked for the Chase National Bank and the Banco Popular in Lima, Peru." - From The New York Times' obituary page, November 28, 1967.-13- Seized U.S. Oil Firm Made Napalm By GEORGIE ANNE GEYER I dropped on its victims. Though ing oil drums out the hacl of LIMA, Peru-An interesting used widely in World War II, it low-flying planes was mole footnote to the historic Peruvi- first gained highly unfavorable dangerous to the pushers than an-American confrontation over; notoriety and became a cause to the targets. the nationalization of the Inter-! celehre for war protestors as a The International Petroleum national Petroleum Co. is the result of being used in Vietnam. Co. a subsidiary of Standard fact that IPC helped the Peru-! The Peruvians prepared the Oil of New Jersey, was nation- vian government make napalm naplam in 55-gallon oil drums alized hy the military junta Iin 1965 to defeat its Communist and dropped it from planes over last Oct. 9. guerrillas. guerrilla territory, which in- Chicago D,,i;y Ne.s. It has long been known priva- eluded some of the wildest tely by those close to the situa- mountain country in the Andes. tion that napalm was used, but According to close observers it has always been officially de- of the situation at the time, the nied because of the sensitivity Peruvian military's intention of the subject. was not so much to kill gueril- Peru first asked the U. S. gov- las with the naplam as to create ernment to supply the napalm "balls of fire" which would but Washington turned down come careening down the moun- the request. tainsides. Peruvian military. men were Psychological Warefare furious, pointing out their Amer-. These, the reasoning went. ican military colleagues that the - would frighten the supersti- U. S. trained them and among tious Indians. who are the des- other things taught them how cendants of the Inca empire,: to use napalm to combat insur- impress them with the magic gency. i power of the government, and "Then when we need it, you I discourage them from collabolr- refuse to give it to us, although ating Iith the guerrillas. you are using it all the time in I Actually, these observers Vietnam," a Latin officer is say, the naplam was used very quoted as saying at the time. little. They judge that none of "Do you think your soldiers' it actualy kiled any of the !)0 lives are more valuable than or so guerrillas. Eventually, ours?" they were captured, half The Peruvian answer was to! starved to death, after having prepare their own napalm, been surrounded by several which they made at the Las thousand government troops. Palmas Air Force Base near Most of them were killed on? Lima. They did it with know- the spot, beheaded and buried: how and gasoline from IPC and in secret places in the moun-l with fuses they removed from tains. Only a handful of In-' old Italian bombs they had on dians who collaborated with hand. the guerrillas were brought to At its simplest, napalm is trial and sentenced. simply a mixture of gasoline The observers also say-half and soap, which continues to jokingly, half seriously--that burn for a long time when the primitive process of push-l Source: New York Post, April 7, 1969 J. McGhee/Viet Report THE SPECIAL CASE OF VENEZUELA The fact that oil is the key to Venezuela is almost cliche. Venezuela is the world's largest exporter and third largest producer of oil (behind the United States and the U.S.S.R.). Oil accounts for about 86 percent of total foreign investment, 93 percent of the country's export earnings, 26 percent of the gross domestic product, and 63 percent of the government's revenue. It is the major component of foreign exchange earnings which amount to over $2 billion annually. Oil requires a high concentration of capital and technology, and it is precisely this concentration that has produced severe imbalances in the Venezuelan economy. Venezuela has the highest per capita in- come in Latin America, but this is undercut by one of the hemisphere's highest cost- of-living indexes and by an immensely distorted distribution of income. The $2 bil- lion in foreign exchange annually give Venezuela a high import capacity, which in return tends to stifle the development of local industry. In addition, the high degree of technology required by the industry aggravates the country's unemployment problem. The oil industry employs a very small portion of the labor force (1.1 percent) while unemployment figures vary from 12 to 20 percent. 1 The imbalances created by this skewed economy are graphically reflected in the acute contrasts in living standards between the wealthy and the poor of Caracas and between rural and urban areas. Rockefeller family interests dominate the oil industry of Venezuela just as oil dom- inates the economy. Creole Petroleum Company, a subsidiary of Standard Oil (N.J.), accounted for a little over 37 percent of all Venezuelan oil-in 1965. 2 (Nelson Rockefeller's business career in Latin America began when he was named a director of Creole in the 1930's.) Another Jersey Standard subsidiary, the International Petrol- eum Company (which was recently ousted from Peru), owns a 25 percent interest in the Mene Grande Oil Company, which produces another 12 percent of the country's output. (The other 75 percent of Mene Grande is owned by the Mellon family's Gulf Oil Corpora- tion.) Still another Rockefeller-controlled company, Mobil Oil, produces an addition- al 4.2 percent. The Jersey Standard and Mobil production stands in sharp contrast to the production of the government-controlled oil agency, Corporaci6n Venezolana de Petr5leo (CVP), which accounts for less than 1 percent of total production. In addi- tion, the Rockefeller-controlled oil companies own refining, shipping and marketing facilities in Venezuela and the Caribbean which process a large share of the 45 percent of Venezuelan oil exported to the United States. (Western Europe and Japan account for an additional 24 percent, Latin America, 22 percent, and Canada, 9 percent.) Two-thirds of the profitable refining operations of Venezuela's oil take place outside her boun- daries. In 1966, Standard Oil of New Jersey alone made over a quarter billion dollars in profits from its Venezuelan operations. Oil companies have been extracting at such a fantastic rate from Venezuela that, if maintained, the known reserves are expected to be depleted in about 14 years. That fact, along with other factors, is forcing the oil industry to undergo a change. The Venezuelan government, on its part, is promoting a policy of diversification, hoping to solve some of the problems inherent in its unbalanced economy. Furthermore, in 1959, in an effort to gain more control over the country's vital resource, the govern- ment initiated a policy of granting no further oil exploration and development conces- sions; it then established the above-mentioned Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation to negotiate "service contracts" for future development as the companies' present con- tracts expire. This is obviously not very appealing to the companies and, as of Feb- ruary 1969, no service contracts had been signed. Concurrent with these developments, the oil companies have come to rely increasingly on the Middle East and Africa as the major sources of their profits. The Middle East and Africa offer lower production costs, more plentiful reserves, and lower fulfur content in the oil. Venezuela once accounted for over half of Standard Oil of New Jersey's profits; now it accounts for less than one-third. These trends in the country's oil sector could mean the eventual decline of Rockefeller 'influence in Venezuela. There are several ways, however, that the family can maintain and tighten its grip on the country's economy. Among them are: 1) Through IBEC (see description below), which controls most of the country's retail food-marketing and is trying to diversify into other areas; 2) Through the various investment companies set up by Creole and Lago which finance many other businesses in Venezuela and retain 49 percent control of each venture they finance; Through the petrochemical industry, which is becoming increasingly important. When Standard Oil extractive operations were na- tionalized in Mexico, the company turned to the petrochemical industry where it is now firmly entrenched. The same thing is likely to happen in Venezuela where International Petroleum Company and Olin Mathieson (another company with substantial Rockefeller in- fluence) are already into petrochemicals. The Venezuelan government is making offers to U.S. companies for joint ventures in this field and several companies have already-15- begun operating on that basis. With the expansion of the Latin American Common Market, such ventures will become increasingly attractive to U.S. investors; the Rockefellers are sure to be among them. Most of the data for this article came from the following sources: "Venezuela," International Economic Survey, April 1969, Chemical Bank/International Division, New York, New York. Venezuela: Business Problems and Opportunities, Business International Corporation, New York, March 1968. The Washington Post, January 29, 1967. Footnotes 1 In a period of ten years, the Rockefeller's Creole Petroleum Corporation (see below), through the introduction of automation and computerization, nearly halved its employ- ment - from a total of 9,000 in 1957 to 5,000 in 1967 - while actually increasing its production. According to John Goshko of The Washington Post (January 29, 1967), the layoff would have been even greater were it not for labor contracts the company had signed. 2 The other major producer in Venezuela (28 percent) is Shell, which brought in the country's first big producing well in 1914.

Tags: Rockefeller, Standard Oil, Peru, Venezuela

Like this article? Support our work. Donate now.