Gas and Oil deals during the former regime… the other side of the confiscation of Yemen’s wealth
The Al-Masirah Arabic channel continues to shed light on the points of darkness that the former regime did its best to hide the truth from the people, regarding the vast oil and gas wealth that was wasted and limited only to the pockets and accounts of those colluding with other countries greedy for Yemen and its wealth.
In a new investigation carried out by Al-Masirah, which was aired on their channel on Friday, revealed details published for the first time about the burning of gas associated with oil production.
Regarding the extent of the deliberate tampering of Yemeni wealth before the revolution, the results of investigations in this regard showed that the French company “TOTAL” burned 9 billion and nearly 700 million cubic meters in Sector 10 in Hadramout, which confirms the size of the former regime’s complicity in wasting the people’s wealth and depriving them of their revenues in a way that improves its economic level.
The deliberate tampering of Yemeni wealth was not limited to Total, but the documents also showed that the Austrian company (OMV) burned 5 billion and more than 500 million cubic meters in the (S2) sector in Shabwa Governorate.
As for the American Hunt Company, Al-Dhafiri explains that it has burned about 200 billion cubic feet of gas over 10 years, which reveals the great scale of the wasted gas wealth. Specialists confirm that the quantities burned are equivalent to 4.117 million tons and cover the domestic consumption of gas for 5 and a half years.
The investigation showed that the rate of gas burning in the two sectors amounted to 110 million cubic feet per day, which is sufficient to produce 341 megawatts of electricity per day. While these figures confirm that the previous regime, and through unfair agreements concluded with foreign companies, only aimed to achieve its interests and agendas, far from the interests and needs of the people.
In the context of the investigation, the Undersecretary of the Oil Exploration and Production Authority, Eng. Abdullatif Al-Dhafri, spoke to Al-Masirah, saying: “Gas can be re-injected to raise the level of oil production, or alternatively, to raise the rate of electricity generation.”
“Reliance on the foreign operator in Sector 10 and S2 hindered the investment of huge quantities of gas, and they were burned daily since the start of production,” he added. This information further reveals the atrocity of the double crime practiced by the former regime with foreign companies, whose goals confirm looting and scraping wealth to deprive Yemenis of it.
With the expansion of the investigation, the exposure of the crimes committed by the former regime against the people increases, as Al-Dhafri confirms to Al-Masirah that “the production-sharing agreements in sectors 10 and S2 stipulated not to burn gas, but TOTAL and OMV companies permanently exceeded that,” in reference to the premeditation of the previous governments and the regime.
On the other hand, Al-Dhafri’s statements reveal the extent to which foreign companies control the decision regarding Yemeni wealth and their lack of commitment to the agreements concluded because they know well that the previous regime was. This regime also did not search for the interests of the Yemeni people.
The Undersecretary of the Oil Exploration and Production Authority, Engineer Abdullatif Al-Dhafri, continues his speech by confirming that oil was discovered in sectors 10 and S2 associated with gas, and yet the facilities were not allocated to absorb the gas, and this is the reason for burning it, while the former spokesman for the Ministry of Oil, Hassan Al-Zaidi, confirms to Al-Masirah that the losses of gas burning are multiple and not just limited economically.
Al-Zaidi pointed out that among the rest of the losses and damages are multiple aspects, including the large harmful effects on the environmental and health sectors.
Through these numbers, it becomes clear to everyone the extent of the great corruption that was practiced during the past decades, and associated with the looting and tampering with Yemeni wealth in return for the guarantee of keeping previous prominent figures in the corrupt system for their personal interests, at the expense of an entire people.
Here, it should be noted that Al-Masirah conducted investigations in this context that showed other aspects of the systematic confiscation of Yemeni oil and gas wealth that the Yemeni people were deprived of over the past decades.
In a series of investigations under the titled “Gas Wasted Energy,” Minister of Oil and Minerals Ahmed Daris confirmed: “The discovery of gas in Yemen coincided with the discovery of oil, but the amount of benefit from it remained small as a result of the policy of the previous regime.”
The Minister studied these evidences, saying: “The evidence of the well tests in Sector 18 was gas and oil, but the previous regime did not invest in that, which caused huge amounts of gas to be wasted.”
The American-European-French tampering with the Yemeni wealth was not limited to burning these quantities of gas and associated gases. The Oil Exploration Authority confirms that “the production-sharing agreement with the American company Hunt was unfair in compared to what the neighboring countries had reached in the form of agreements,” confirming that all the activities carried out by foreign companies did not go beyond the framework of depriving the people of their wealth.
Al-Dhafiri also confirms that the most serious disadvantage of the production-sharing agreement with the American Hunt Company is not addressing the gas situation in detail so as not to waste wealth, stressing that the policies of previous governments in the past decades have been keen on foreign investment in the oil and gas sector, which did not serve development.
In this context, the Minister of Oil reaffirms that “the 1995 gas project development agreement limited Yemen’s share of profits to a small percentage that does not reach half of what is applied in the gas industry, indicating that the profits shares were distributed unfairly in light of the allocation of 50% of the revenues to cover the capital costs of the project in its first phase.
Minister Daris points out that the investing company, led by the French TOTAL, worked early on to control the gas wealth in various ways from the first agreement related to the liquefaction and export of Yemeni gas. He stressed that the gas development agreement gave the investing company the power to negotiate the sale and purchase of gas and determining its prices. Thus, resulting in a state of looting gas wealth.
In this regard, Abd al-Wahhab Mutahar – General Manager of Oil Accounts—confirms that the articles related to financial returns in the agreement were designed to ensure high and permanent profits for the investing company at the expense of our sovereign wealth, indicating that the equation of revenue over spending ensured profits higher than the proceeds of the project for the benefit of the investing company led by the French TOTAL.
Mutahar noted that none of the financial returns were feasible for Yemen, including the percentage allocated to sovereignty, and this appears from its small segments and percentages.
The former regime and its thieves were not satisfied with this kind of injustice against the people, but rather they deliberately maintained that looting and tampering with long-term agreements; thus, depriving the people from their rights for the longest possible period. The Minister of Oil and Minerals confirms that the sale and purchase contracts included imbalances at the level of the period of each agreement, the volume of quantities and the terms of delivery and selling prices, noting that the gas selling prices in the contracts of the two French companies, GDF Suez and TOTAL, were mere incomplete calculation equations and did not include values and ratios for calculating the price.
Daris explains that the imbalances in the sales contracts led to the sale of every million thermal units for two dollars maximum, and one dollar at minimum for the two French companies. In addition, for the Korean Kogas, it was three dollars and 15 cents, stressing that the prices of selling gas to the three companies were unfair, and it is remarkable that the sales contract for Kogas stipulated adjusting prices every 5 years, unlike the contracts of the two French companies.
In this regard, Mohammed Al-Shamiri, the former director general of preparation and planning for government meetings, confirms that “gas sales contracts at low prices, and in light of the various concerned institutions turning a blind eye to them, means that the presidency’s directives prompted them to accept them.”