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February 1, 2006

HarryTho 2/1 Natalee Holloway Commentary

Topics: Natalee Holloway

Despite promises of activity after the Aruban investigators returned from the Alabama, there is nothing happening anywhere. The big item of the day seems to be some letter written to the Caribbean News service by an alleged 14-year-old American girl. To me, the letter is nothing more newsworthy than some of the mindless ramblings on the blogs.

Accordingly, I followed up on a lead provided by one of our posters concerning an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report concerning an oil refinery in Aruba.

At first, I believed that the oil freinery could be a World Bank project, because of the world standing of Aruba. Yet, I discovered that no World Bank projects have occurred in the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1957.

From here, I decided to look into the USAID program to see if any financing had come through that program.

Once again, the search turned up empty. This time, I tried the Overseas Protection Insurance Company (OPIC) to see if any US company applied for insurance for a project in Aruba. Under the Minerals section of their data files, they listed Aruba as having an oil refinery owned by the El Paso Corporation.

A look inside the workings of the El Paso Corporation reveals that the company is primarily a gas distributor. In recent years, it has decided to concentrate on its core activities and divest of its out-of-core holdings. One of those assets slated for divesting was their oil refinery in Aruba. The oil refinery was built in 1924 by Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon). Exxon closed the refinery in 1985. In 1991, El Paso Corporation re-opened the refinery. In 2004, El Paso sold their oil refinery in Aruba to the Valero Oil Corporation.

After Valero Energy Corporation invested some $600 million in upgrading the Aruba oil refinery, it now produces some 225,000 barrels per day. A flow diagram exhibits its processing:

Valero is the largest oil refiner in North America. It is the largest terminal and petroleum liquid pipelines operator in the United States. With its 18 refineries, it produces 3.3 billion barrels of petroleum per day ... with an annual revenue of $75 billion. Valero ranks number 15 on the Fortune 500 companies' list with assets valued at $33 billion.

Valero : About Valero

At the end of the research, we have one oil refinery on Aruba operating; whereas, there exists some long range plans by someone to erect a new oil refinery on Aruba. To the best of my knowledge, whoever is planning another oil refinery has not requested OPIC for insurance. Accordingly, whoever this entity is, it does not require outside assistance in order to finance this refinery. The entity is a huge multinational enterprise (MNE) in order to be so financially powerful to self-finance such a venture. Clearly, Valero or the Chevron-Halliburton-Carlyle Group would qualify as such an entity.

Valero Energy Corporation is headquartered in San Antonio, TX. Valero is actually the original name of San Antonio. The Alamo was called the Mission San Antonio de Valero.

An expose on the activities of the Chevron coalition and the Valero conglomerate are provided in this link:

I believe that this expose may have been a reference in President Bush's State of the Union Address.

"There is no question but that the world is addicted to oil, but it is not a renewable resource . . . and now people are dying so that multinational corporations can make their last desperate effort to lay siege to remaining reserves. It is at these times that we have to ask ourselves what our personal ethics are and whether we are willing to pay blood so as to drive our cars.

We probably all admit that the transition from dependency to independence is slow and sometimes painful. However, it is necessary."

In conclusion, does any of the foregoing have anything to do with Natalee Holloway's disappearance? It's hard to say; however, some of the developments seem to indicate that someone with an interest in oil exploration off Aruba could have taken advantage of the media frenzy in order to persuade the Aruban government into providing concessions for exploration. To me, people with those kinds of aspirations were in positions of power with which they could materialize those aspirations. Whether they did or not may be difficult to determine. But, the smoke is there ... with or without the fire.

Lastly, the frenzy around Natalee's disappearance occurred contemporaneously with the push for nationalization of the Venezuela's oil resources by the Chavez administration. By early January 2006, Venezuela succeeded in nationalizing their oil resources. Chevron was last company to succumb to Venezuela's demands.

On a far different but Natalee-related item, Dan Riehl has posted a piece entitled, "Natalee Holloway Update - Joe Mammana Labeled Blowhard Publicity Hound.

It appears the town that once threw snowballs at Santa Clause during an NFL game has a little scrap going on over the Natalee Holloway case. Former news reporter become media adviser to the Aruban Strategic Task Force John Pauly is exchanging insults with Beth Twitty pal Joe Mammana.
With that, we'll call it a night.

Later tonight on cable news, Greta of Fox news interviewed John Q. Kelly. John reported about his interface with Police Chief Dompig and Prosecutor Janssen. Dompig is pushing for an arrest and Janssen wants a conviction. Currently, they are searching the island for a body to see if they can obtain some forensic evidence in order to bring the culprits to justice. John revealed that the Dutch infra-red scan by their jets did show a heat source in the sand dunes; however, John did not feel that was promising. Had it been that promising, a body would have been found in June 2005, because heat sources from infra-red scans point to specific locations. To date, the Arubans have no specific location. They are working on what they consider to be a credible lead. The sand dune area, to John, is a humongous area of some eight football fields in size. It will take a few months to search thoroughly. The FBI, the Arubans and the Dutch Forensic Institute will cooperate to search the area over the next few months.

On the issue of Paulus van der Sloot's claim for damages, John states that a judge will make a decision on 27 February 2006. John states that Karin Janssen plead to allow John access to the hearing; however, Paulus denied his access, stating that John had been unkind to him in the media. John, surprising, admitted to the ill-speaking of Paulus. In a sense, he confirmed Paulus' reservations.

In short, the activity on Aruba will be a meticulous search of the sand dunes. Until that search is complete, all that is foreseen is the decision concerning Paulus van der Sloot's damages. There was no report whatsoever on the interviews with the Kingdom of Mountain Brook teens. I did sense a more appreciative slant to John Q. Kelly's appraisal of the Aruban authorities.

Aloha - Posted for HarryTho

Posted by Richard at February 1, 2006 9:57 PM



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