Friday, May 16, 2008

Vanco's bankers?

In recent days PM Tymoshenko has repeatedly claimed that when president Yushchenko 'blessed' a deal giving US petroleum company Vanco Energy the green light to commence oil and gas projects in the Black sea off the Crimean coast, it was a betrayal of national interests would amount to a 'RosUkrEnergo-2'.

She has publicly asserted that Vanco’s Ukrainian off-shoot, Vanco Prekerchensa Ltd., is an offshore structure registered to four girls, and that the company has only token assets of 12,000 hryven [about $6,000].

According to an item in 'Ukrainska Pravda', Vanco’s senior vice president Jeffrey Mitchell revealed today that Vanco's partner in its Kerch shelf project is DTEK, part of Rinat Akhmetov's SCM financial-industrial group. Vanco are the 'technical boys', while DTEK are the financial investor in the project.

Tymoshenko is enemy #1 for the Donetsk oligarchs, the biggest of whom is Akhmetov. She is trying to sink the recent Dniproenergo deal which enabled Akhmetov's group to significantly increase their oblenergo holdings. The deal had allegedly been 'approved' by the president, perhaps as a 'pay-off' for PoR agreeing to participate in last Autumn's elections after Yushchenko had contentiously dismissed the Verhkovna Rada last April.

Akhmetov, is allegedly "interested in a second term of office for Yushchenko". One of his close allies, Boris Kolesnikov, is known to be quite chummy with head of the pres's secretariat, Viktor Baloha. Another, Raisa Bohatyryova, is secretary of the powerful National Security and Defence Council.

However, some other PoR big-shots, including Andriy Klyuev are not against some co-operation with BYuT on matters of Constitutional reform, while others consider recent events in the VR to be the 'death-throes' of the democratic coalition.


elmer said...

OK, let me ask a question here, but first, here is Vanco Energy's web sit - "about us" - which is far more information, strangely enough, than anyone might be able to find about the Ukrainian government or Ukrainian companies.

You will note the statement that Vanco tries to be a good corporate citizen.

Next, go to the "vanco in the news" link, and click on the the story from October 11, 2007 "Vanco wins government favor for oil deal"

That will open Microsoft Word in the browser, and the following news story, which I have pasted in, will pop up.

Question: the story claims that - Yanukovych and Kluyev - approved the deal.

They both, of course, are tied in with Akhmetov. So why is Tymoshenko not pointing out that these 2 guys also approved the deal?

And why is she not pointing out that Akhmetov is also a member of parliament? And why is she not only pointing out an OBVIOUS CONFLICT OF INTEREST HERE WHEN GOVT MEMBERS ARE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE DEAL?


So that's how corruption works in Ukraine. I wonder how much Yushchenko's son gets out of this deal. No wonder Yushchenko plays kissy-face with Akhmetov in the Kharkiv football stadium.


Vanco wins gov’t favor for oil deal
by John Marone, Kyiv Post Staff Writer
Oct 11 2007, 01:29
Ukraine has finally allowed a serious Western energy player to explore and develop what could be billions of barrels of oil buried beneath its Black Sea shelf.
The outgoing government of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych approved a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with US Vanco Energy on Oct. 3, ending more than a year-and-a-half of tough negotiations. Although the PSA still has to be signed by Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Kluyev, it marks the latest in a recent series of breakthroughs by Western oil companies onto Ukraine’s promising production market, and the first onto the country’s Black Sea shelf.
If significant hydrocarbon deposits are found in Ukraine’s so-called Prykerchenska field, a 12,900-square-kilometer swathe of territory that comprises about 17 percent of all expected reserves in the Black and Azov Sea shelves, the country could ease Russia’s stranglehold on its energy supplies. Due to the technical difficulty of the deep-water drilling involved, Ukraine has been unable to develop the Black Sea shelf on its own.
“Vanco is very pleased to have concluded successfully with the government of Ukraine the negotiations on the Prykerchenska Production Sharing Agreement. Although the discussions were long and intensive, they were always conducted in a positive and constructive atmosphere,” reads a statement released by Vanco on Oct. 9.
Vanco International Ltd., a subsidiary of Houston-based Vanco Energy Company, won the exclusive right to present a PSA agreement to the Ukrainian government in a tender held on April 19 of last year.
Vanco competed in the tender on a 50-50 basis with UK-based JNR Eastern Investments Limited, part of the JNR group of companies, which represent the interests of Nathaniel Rothschild and his family in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
Also taking part in the tender were multinational heavyweights like Shell and ExxonMobile, which submitted a joint bid; Ukrnafta, Ukraine’s largest oil producer; Turkish state-owned oil company TPAO; and US company Hunt Oil.
Vanco, whose profile of operations has focused on deepwater offshore projects in West Africa, first submitted its PSA proposal to the Ukrainian government in July 2006. But the government rejected the proposal and started compiling a counterproposal in October, leading some observers to question whether other proposals might be considered.

elmer said...

It looks like there are actually 3 partners - including a Russian, and yet another mysterious Austrian-based firm.

Vanco is trying to be a good corporate citizen, and is caught in the middle by Ukrainian corruption.

Do Yanukovych and Akhmetov and Yushchenko have no shame? Have Yanukovych and Akhmetov not already stolen enough in Ukraine?