Corporate profiles compiled by George Draffan

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OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM
10889 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90024
telephone 213-824-2372

Armand Hammer was chairman until his death in 1990.

Oxy got a huge concession of Libyan oil in the 1960s. Expanded into Latin America and the North Sea in the 1970s, and more recently in Yemen, Oman, Ecuador, and Colombia.

Over the years Oxy has acquired and spun off many companies and operations including Iowa Beef Processors, Cities Service, Diamond Shamrock Chemicals, Island Creek (Kentucky coal), MidCon (US Midwestern pipeline), and United Texas Transmission (pipeline).

Occidental was on the Council on Economic Priorities' 1995 Worst Polluters List.

North Sea

Scottish courts concluded that Oxy negligence caused the explosion of the Piper Alpha North Sea offshore oil rig in July 1988. The explosion killed 167 people and the fires took a month to put out (Multinational Monitor, Nov. 1990, p. 33).

Peru

Occidental is involved in oil drilling in Peru's central rainforest, and has contracts for area near the Brazilian border. In June 1995, Occidental began drilling exploratory wells in its "Block 4" concession on the traditional lands of the Candoshi people in the Morona and Tigre River basins in northeastern Peru. AIDESEP, the national indigenous confederation, says that 17 million acres of indigenous poeples' lands in the Peruvian Amazon have already been turned over to oil companies (Rainforest Action Network Action Alert, No. 111, Aug. 1995. See also Oil & Gas Journal, May 22, 1989; June 19, 1989, p. 31; July 3, 1989, p. 28; July 7, 1989, p. 22-23; and Sept. 11, 1989, p. 31; and The Ecologist 19(6):219-224 (1989).

Malaysia

Exploratory drilling off the Sarawak, Malaysia coast (Oil & Gas Journal, July 24, 1989, p. 24).

Ecuador

Oil concessions in the Oriente of Ecuador (Rainforest Action Network Action Alert, No. 50, July 1990) have led to demonstrations by indigenous peoples (World Rainforest Report, Oct-Dec. 1992, p. 10).

See also entry for OLEODUCTO DE CRUDO PESADO.

Colombia

Occidental has spilled 1.6 million barrels of crude oil from a pipeline built in 1987 north of the U'wa (8,000 people living in cloud forests of the Colombian Andes). In 1999, the pipeline was bombed 79 times, and three American supporters of the U'wa were murdered by guerillas.

In 1995, the Colombian government gave Occidental permission to explore for oil on U'wa land. The U'wa threatened to commit mass suicide. In September 1999, Occidental received permission to drill the first well.

US Vice President Al Gore has come under fire for his family's financial interest in Occidental.

US President Clinton has requested $1.6 billion in emergency aid for the Colombian government, 80 percent of the aid to be military. A 1997 US national security report called Colombia's oil reserves a vital interest of the US. Occidental is lobbbying the US Congress to approve the military aid.

Nov 1999: "200 U'wa Indians, including women, children and tribal elders marched on the site of Occidental Petroleum's planned oil well Gibraltar 1, establishing a permanent settlement to block the drilling slated to begin in the coming weeks. Hundreds of additional U'wa are expected to continue arriving to the settlement in upcoming days. Tribal leaders declared that this permanent settlement is a necessary to block the drilling after legal battles and direct appeals to the company and government have failed to date. Oxy's entire oil block falls within the U'wa's ancestral territory. The U'wa, a traditional tribe of some 5,000 people living in the cloudforests of northeastern Colombia have repeatedly declared their absolute opposition to Oxy's oil project. The U'wa cannot allow drilling on their ancestral lands as they believe that oil is the blood of the Earth. The oil project is widely expected to escalate conflicts in the region among the armed factions, resulting in violence against the U'wa, as seen in other oil areas of Colombia. Despite this, in September the Colombian Minister of the Environment approve a drilling license for the first exploratory well." (Rainforest Action Network news release, November 17, 1999, http://www.ran.org/info_center/press_release/991117.html).

Feb 2000: "After five years of protesting an oil drilling project by California-based Occidental Petroleum Corp., the U'wa native tribe recently watched "helplessly" as a road to the site was constructed. U'wa leaders say oil production near their tribal lands "will destroy their way of life, and the environment could suffer if waste from the plant trickles into nearby rivers." The tribe and a group of international environmental organizations have fought for five years to stop Occidental's project. The 5,000-member community sued the company in 1995 for not consulting it before obtaining government permission for preliminary tests in the area, as is required by Colombian law. And hundreds of protesters blocked the road on Feb. 11 as riot police fired tear gas into the crowd. The U'wa tribe said protests will continue, "but it appears they have lost -- victims of Colombia's desire to replenish its dwindling oil supply." U'wa member Ebaristo Tegria: "I feel defenseless against 3,000 or 2,000 or even 500 armed men. Especially if you don't have any guns to say, "I am just as strong as you'" (Greenwire, Feb 22, 2000, citing Steven Dudley, Washington Post, Feb. 20).

March 2000: "A Colombian court ruling last week that the U'wa tribe was not properly consulted on Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s planned oil drilling project near their land has temporarily halted work at the site (Los Angeles Times, April 1). The native U'wa are embroiled in a dispute with U.S.-based Occidental on the company's plans to drill for oil near what the tribe says are its traditional lands. Authorities said they had carried out all necessary consultation over the proposed site. But the judge's ruling "appears to agree that the drilling would have an influence on U'wa lands." Alberto Calderon, president of state oil company Ecopetrol, Occidental's partner, "said he was confident the verdict would be overturned on appeal" (James Wilson, Financial Times, Apr. 3). Roberto Perez, president of the U'wa Traditional Authority, met with members of Congress in Washington last week. Perez: "The injunction speaks of the suspension of the project, not cancellation. We have taken an important step and are happy because we have advanced in our struggle even though this has come at great sacrifice" (U'wa Defense Working Group release, March 31). Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) organized a one-hour meeting on March 31 between Perez and Larry Meriage of Occidental. McKinney: "Occidental must immediately suspend their project pending a mediated settlement with the U'wa" (McKinney release, March 31)." (Greenwire, April 3, 2000).

US plan "to provide to Colombia and to Occidental petroleum, for starters, over $100 million from U.S. taxpayers to protect a portion of the Cano-Limon oil pipeline." U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky challenges Bush Administration to reverse failed and dangerous drug interdiction policy effort in Colombia and to uphold US law, Dec 12, 2002.

For more information on Occidental:

Drilling for Trouble: Should Gore Stop Oxy? Time Magazine, Jan 24, 2000.

Gore Attacked over Colombia Oil Project, Financial Times, Jan 20, 2000.

Occidental and Oriental Connections, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 29, 2000.

Despite image, Gore has Deep Roots in Oil Industry, Reuters, Aug. 9, 1999.

8 arrested at Gore campaign HQ (Jan. 26, 2000) and Gore: Principles or Petroleum?: Fact sheet and Action Alert Rainforest Action Network http://www.ran.org/ran_campaigns/beyond_oil/oxy/index.html

See Project Underground at http://www.moles.org

See also Canadian Occidental and Maxus Energy.

 

 

OCP PIPELINE see OLEODUCTO DE CRUDO PESADO

 

 

OCTEL (ASSOCIATED OCTEL)

England

Produces tetraethyl lead (TEL) for leaded gasoline in England and France (Multinational Monitor, July/Aug. 1991). Supplies Ethyl Corporation, which shut down the last of its plants (Forbes, July 18, 1994, p. 53).

See also Du Pont and Ethyl Corporation.

 

 

 

ODEBRECHT

Brazil

Involved in diamond prospecting in Angola, along the Congo River on the border with Zaire, with Angola's state-owned diamond company Endiama (Mining Magazine, Aug 1991, p. 104).

 

 

OGDEN CORPORATION

In March 2000, the International Rivers Network wrote to New York-based Ogden Corporation "calling on the company to withdraw from a highly controversial dam project on India's Narmada River. The letter is endorsed by 124 organizations from 27 countries. Ogden signed a Memorandum of Intent [on] March 23, to develop the Maheshwar Dam, as part of U.S. President Bill Clinton's state visit to India... The dam's serious financial risks and the intense opposition to it caused U.S. power utility PacifiCorp to back out of the project in 1998, and German utilities Bayernwerk and VEW Energie to pull out in April 1999... Ogden Energy is a wholly-owned unit of Ogden Corporation which has interests in the airline services, entertainment, environmental and energy sectors. The company has no experience with large dam projects. Its current portfolio contains only six small hydroelectric dams (four in the US and two in Costa Rica) with an average generating capacity of about 20 megawatts each." (International Rivers Network news release, March 27, 2000). See Narmada River Dams.

 

 

OIL SEARCH LTD.

Involved in Papua New Guinea with British Petroleum.

 

 

 

OJI PAPER see New Oji

 

 

 

OK TEDI MINING LTD.

Papua New Guinea

Open pit copper mine near the headwaters of the Fly River, which flows along the border of Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Opened in 1984; Canadian, German, Australian, Papua New Guinean, and U.S. companies are involved. Amoco owns 30 percent. Sodium cyanide spills and the daily dumping of 80,000 tons of tailings.

The Wau Ecology Institute (PNG) submitted grievances to the International Water Tribunal in Amsterdam. In 1992 the Tribunal recommended closure of the mine unless a safe method to store and treat wastes could be found (World Rainforest Report, No. 21, Feb. 1992, p. 33; and April-June 1992, p. 5).

Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) has operational control over the Ok Tedi mine. In 1994 a lawsuit was filed on behalf on those living downstream from the mine. The plaintiffs sought $1.5 to 2.2 billion, half for environmetal damage and half as punitive damages for deliberate destruction of downstream property. In Spetember 1995, the Victoria State Supreme Court found BHP in comtempt of court for helping to draft legislation for the PNG Parliament that would have made it illegal to sue BHP. In December 1995, the PNG Parliament passed legislation blocking future Ok Tedi Mining liability and set up a $81 million compensation fund for landowners harmed by the mine. The money is to be distributed over 15 years (Russell Mokhiber and Andrew Wheat, Shameless: 1995's 10 Worst Corporations, Multinational Monitor, Dec. 1995, p. 9-16).

"Papua New Guinea officials say they will consider the future of a major copper mine that is central to the country's economy after the World Bank argued for its closure for environmental reasons. The Ok Tedi mine has paid millions of dollars to contain mine tailings and compensate villagers for damage to water supplies, land and vegetation after losing a court battle in 1996. A World Bank report said there are environmental reasons for closing the mine, but recommended a draft plan that would take into account the effects on the local economy. Ok Tedi provides 10 percent of the economy for the impoverished nation, 20 percent of its exports and employment for 1,500 people. It is scheduled to operate for another 10 years (Greenwire, March 8, 2000, citing Virginia Marsh, Financial Times, March 8).

"The Papua New Guinea (PNG) government said yesterday it would start talks over the future of the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine after the World Bank recommended its closure but backed away from any hasty decision. Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said talks would include representatives from the area around the mine in the country's Western Province, Australian operator The Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd , other shareholders and government agencies. "It is clear that the environmental damage caused by Ok Tedi is greater than expected when the mine opened (in 1987) and that it is now a serious problem affecting many people along the Fly River system," Morauta said in a statement from Port Moresby. "However, it is essential to bear in mind that any hasty and poorly planned decision to close the mine would have even worse consequences for the well-being of these people and for Papua New Guineans generally." The World Bank has told the PNG government that the mine should be shut down as soon as possible on environmental grounds. The bank was asked by the government last August for an environmental assessment after a study found waste rock and tailings were building up downstream and causing flooding, killing trees, drowning subsistence gardens and harming fish. But a report from the bank, leaked to the Australian Financial Review, said an immediate closure could be disastrous from a social standpoint with no preparedness for mine closure. The mine, located in the rugged Star Mountains near the Irian Jaya border, is the only major source of employment in the remote and thinly populated Western Province of PNG. World Bank Report To Be Considered With Others: "While I can confirm the essential accuracy of the story I have to stress that it appears to be based on a confidential communication between the bank and the PNG government therefore we have nothing further to say at this stage," World Bank regional spokesman Graham Barrett told Reuters. BHP, which has a 52 percent stake in the mine, has said it was not comfortable operating the mine but the PNG government, which owns 30 percent, is considered unlikely to want to close it before the end of its planned life in 2010. Canada's Inmet Mining Corp is the third shareholder. Morauta said the World Bank report would be considered alongside an awaited independent expert's report commissioned by PNG's Department of Mines. BHP then needed to submit a mine closure plan so the government could start consultations about a closure strategy which would not just focus on environmental concerns. "Such a strategy must incorporate social and economic matters as well as environmental and must deal with province-wide and national needs and desires as well as those of the people along the Fly River," Morauta said. If the mine was shut the nation would lose the source of 10 percent of its economic output and 20 percent of exports. At current prices, production is worth about US$350 million a year. Analysts said one option was for BHP to hand over its stake in the mine, which has a capacity of 190,000 tonnes of copper contained in concentrate a year, to the PNG government. BHP chairman Don Argus told reporters if BHP did get rid of its stake it would also want rid of any associated liabilities. "Clearly if we have got no control in it we don't want to leave behind any associated liabilities," Argus said. Alan Heap, commodities analyst for Salomon Smith Barney, said elimination of copper from the Ok Tedi mine could wipe out much of a forecast global supply surplus this year. "Such a move could be critical to the world market," he said." (Reuters, PNG government to review future of Ok Tedi mine, March 8, 2000).

Sources of Information:

Contact: Alex Maun, OK Tedi/Fly River ENECO Association, PO Box 124, Kiunga, Western Province, Papua New Guinea (World Rainforest Report, No. 21, Feb. 1992, p. 33).

Earth First! Journal, Aug. 1, 1990, p. 23.

World Rainforest Report, Jan-Mar. 1992, p. 1.

 

 

 

OKURA AND CO.

101 East 52nd St, New York, NY 10022

telephone 212-752-3600

Japanese corporation involved in Sarawak, Malaysia (Rainforest Action Movement, Ann Arbor, Michigan).

 

 

 

OLEODUCTO DE CRUDO PESADO

Ecuador

Controversial new oil pipeline project known as the Oleoducto de Crudo Pesado (Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline) or OCP.

"Financially backed by Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, and Deutsche Bank, the OCP consortium is comprised of Alberta Energy (Canada), Kerr McGee (USA), Occidental Petroleum (USA) - notorious for their invasion of the U'wa people's land in Colombia, AGIP (Italy), Perez Companc (Argentina), Repsol-YPF (Spain) and Techint (Argentina). The pipeline would transport heavy crude from the country's eastern rainforest region to the Pacific Coast, placing fragile ecosystems and dozens of communities along the 300-mile route in jeopardy... The pipeline route chosen by the OCP consortium affects 11 protected areas, and cuts through the middle of the Mindo Nambillo Cloudforest Reserve and the surrounding ecologically sensitive forests... In order to fill the new pipeline, Ecuador would have to double its current oil production, setting off an unprecedented boom in new oil exploration that could lead to the irreversible loss and destruction of some the country 's last remaining old growth rainforest and territories of isolated indigenous peoples. Hundreds of new oil wells and flow lines would be built from existing oil concessions along with facilities necessary to process and refine the heavy crude for transport across the country. These activities threaten protected areas such as Yasuni National Park, Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, and the Limoncocha and Panacocha Biological Reserves. This project would also fuel the search for additional oil reserves covering 2.4 million hectares of frontier forest, the majority of which falls on the ancestral territories of Achuar, Shuar, Huaorani, Quichua, Shiwiar, and Zapara indigenous communities. " (Rainforest Action Network, Oct 12, 2001, http://www.ran.org/ran_campaigns/citigroup/cs_ocp.html ).

 

 

OLYMPIA & YORK DEVELOPMENTS

Canada

Controlled by the Reichmanns. Collapsed in 1992. Owns Gulf Canada Resources.

 

 

 

OMAI GOLD MINES LTD. see Cambior

 

 

 

ONTARIO HARDWOOD PRODUCTS LTD.

188 Perth Ave, Toronto, Ont. M6P 3X6 Canada

telephone 416-535-3191

Imports afrormosia, mahogany, meranti and teak (National Hardwood Magazine, Christmas 1988).

 

 

 

OREGON AND CHELAN EXPLORATION AND MINING

Box 640, Grants Pass OR 97526

telephone 503-476-2408 503-476-4200

Offering Chilean properties for sale, option, or joint venture in copper and gold projects (1992 Northwest Mining Association Directory).

 

 

 

ORMAT ENERGY SYSTEMS

Israel and Nevada

25-MW geothermal project planned near Kilauea volcano in Hawaii (San Francisco Chronicle This World, Oct. 1, 1989, p. 9; and Apr. 3, 1990).

See also Campbell Estate, Hawaii Electric, Mid-Pacific, and True Geothermal.

 

 

 

ORYX ENERGY

13155 Noel Road, Dallas TX 75240

telephone 214-715-4000

Spun off from the Sun Company (Sunoco). It bought Seagrams' Texas Pacific Oil & Gas in 1980. In 1988, Sun spun off its U.S. assets as Sun Exploration & Production, which changed its name in 1989 to Oryx Energy. In 1990, Oryx bought a billion dollars worth of oil properties from British Petroleum, in the North Sea, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, and Italy. Oryx is now one of the largest independent oil and gas companies, with nearly a billion barrels of oil equiivalent in 1992, mainly in the U.S. Gulf Coast (Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, the Mississippi Salt Basin), Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, and Indonesia (Kakap). Sun Energy Partners is a 98 percent owned limited partnership (Hoover's Handbook of American Business 1993, p. 437).

See also Sun Company.

In late 1990, Oryx repurchased 25 million shares of stock for about $967 million from the Pews (Pew Charitable Trusts Annual Report 1991, p. 95).

Oryx bought Indonesian oil and gas properties from British Petroleum for $1.1 billion (Business Week 1000, April 1991, p. 30).

See also Pertamina.

 

 

 

OSMOSE WOOD PRESERVING

980 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14209

telephone 716-882-5905

Sells wood preservatives and other chemicals throughout the world. Advertises in Asian Timber.

 

 

 

OVERSEAS PETROLEUM INVESTMENT CO.

Taiwan

Offshore oil drilling at Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia (Oil & Gas Journal, Oct. 16, 1989, p. 40).