Continuing mind control with oil control

We are opening a new post for those who want to understand how Tony Quinn has been able to get into a position of mental control over what from the looks of things is pretty tough cookie Alex Cranberg?  How has someone who had no interest in oil now come to occupy such a powerful position? We have been reporting about this for about 5 years so are just wondering why the business journalists have been so slow to address this aspect of the Tony Quinn’s enterprise.

Perhaps it is the oil prospector’s wife, Susan Morrice who has brought Alex under her influence… we don’t know. Tony Quinn has a similar style to Rasputin who was able to unduly influence the Czar and his family. Dialogue Ireland got involved in this issue when we received a bizarre legal letter in January suggesting we were interfering in an oil business. We are only in the don’t mess with peoples’ heads business, not oil!

We would like any of you out there to tell us about what is really going on with the oil, because we do not have a clue.

Clearly the downturn will leave Quinn’s Educo programme on the beach stranded as the tide goes out. The gyms are obviously struggling under the financial pressure that those running them have to live under.


Tiny Belize strikes bubblin’ crude

One partner in Belize Natural Energy has said that 75 million barrels could be under a single 1,618-hectare parcel of land.

How sweet it is, some say. But the Beverly Hillbillies-style courting of big oil companies worries others.


This tiny country struck oil in much the same way TV’s Jed Clampett did in the Ozarks. A few years ago, a Mennonite farmer dug a shallow well in this bucolic hamlet and up bubbled crude.

“It was just like the Beverly Hillbillies,” said government petroleum inspector Andre Cho.

Belize joined the ranks of the world’s oil exporters in January when its first shipload of crude hit the market. Production is only 3,000 barrels a day, but people in this Central American nation of 280,000 are getting a glimpse of the opportunities — and opportunists — that accompany $60-a-barrel oil.

“When you see Texans coming down here, you know that something is up,” said Belize City bartender Robert Williams at a restaurant called the Smoky Mermaid. Cho said wildcatters have been tantalized by the speed with which Belize Natural Energy– a small private firm backed by American and Irish investors — last year found the first significant deposits of oil. In contrast to the heavy, sulphur-laden stuff found in neighbouring Guatemala and Mexico, Belizean crude is so sweet and light that some local farmers are putting it raw into tractors.

The strike couldn’t have come at a better time for Belize’s debt-strapped government, which hopes to use oil wealth to reduce taxes and bolster social spending. Minister of Natural Resources John Briceno calculates that at current prices, the government’s take from even modest oil production of around 60,000 barrels a day would cover the entire national budget of Belize.

BNE officials say they don’t know the true size of the find, but one partner told a local newspaper that 75 million barrels could be under a single 1,618-hectare parcel. “If we could produce even 20,000 barrels a day, you can imagine what we could do with that. It could make a huge difference for our little country.”

For half a century, oil drillers came to Belize hoping to hit the big one. Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz spent millions of dollars chasing black gold in this Massachusetts-size nation located south east of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. So did Texaco, Chevron and others. Studies hinted at petroleum deposits lurking beneath the jungle floor, but drilling yielded 50 dry holes in as many years.

Thus BNE made history when it struck oil on its first attempt, 25 kilometres from the spot where the Mennonite farmer first found petroleum.

Two BNE partners were key to the effort — Northern Ireland-born Susan Morrice, the company’s president and a veteran geologist with two decades of experience in Belize, and the late Mike Usher, an engineer and member of a prominent Belizean family who never gave up the dream that his nation could be an oil producer.

Usher’s 89-year-old mother, Jane, recalls her son bringing rocks to Sunday dinner, evidence that Belize was rich in petroleum. He didn’t live to see his dream fulfilled, dying in 2004 of a liver-related ailment, but she never doubted him. “Every Sunday, it was always the same. The oil thing. The oil thing,” said the mother of 10, known as Miss Jane.

With financing from Morrice’s husband, Colorado oil executive Alex Cranberg and more than 80 Irish investors, the firm used seismic technology to map unexplored territory around Spanish Lookout. They found what they believed to be a sizable oilfield under Mennonite pastureland.

The company’s roughnecks hit oil three times in as many tries, naming the wells Mike Usher No. 1, Mike Usher No. 2 and Mike Usher No. 3.

Some Belizeans fear that coaxing the long hidden oil to the surface is equivalent to opening Pandora’s Box.

Belize boasts lush rainforests, delicate coral reefs, piercing blue skies and what it claims is the world’s only jaguar preserve.

Because the nation lacks a refinery, pipelines or basic petroleum infrastructure, the oil must be moved by tanker trucks along narrow roads to the docks in the southern city of Big Creek for export. “We simply aren’t prepared,” said Godsman Ellis, president of the Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy, who says spills and other disasters are inevitable.

Mennonite farmers on whose land the oil was discovered are also wary.

Concerns about outsiders meddling in their affairs led the conservative Christian group to flee Mexico 45 years ago for Belize. The federal government, which owns all mineral rights in Belize, has the power to force landowners to accept oil drilling on their property for a small share of the oil revenue. Other Belizeans suspect they, too, will be short changed.

A block from Belize’s petroleum department in the capital of Belmopan, on the campus of United Evergreen Primary School, Principal Pamela Neal hasn’t a single computer for 765 students.

Neal said she would like to believe poor students would benefit from oil riches. But the experience of developing nations such as Nigeria, where multinationals and corrupt officials pocketed most of wealth, has her fearing the worst.

“We are between the devil and the deep blue sea.”

Page 8 STAR Tel: 667-7827 Email: Sunday, October 21, 2007


The Belize Association of


Contact: Jim Cavanaugh,

Coordinator Phone:

804-4432/602-0236 FOR


CAYO, Belize, October 17,


Belizean landowners are being illegally pressured by oil companies with the help of the Minister of Natural Resources to sign agreements that are taking unfair advantage of Belizean landowners. Belize Natural Energy and West Bay Exploration, both oil companies controlled by Alex Cranberg of Denver, Colorado, have had the Minister improperly intimidate landowners when his oil companies do not get what they want.

The new Petroleum Law very clearly requires that an oil company must negotiate a contract with the landowner or legal occupier before they can enter private land for oil activities. The purpose of the negotiations are to establish the amount of compensation for landowners for any interference and disturbance of the landowner’s activities, and all actual damages that may occur to crops, structures, roads, fences and the like. The law provides that if the landowner and oil company can not agree on the compensation, they must go to arbitration and resolve the agreement. Another provision of the Petroleum states that, if a landowner is unreasonable and wont let the oil company use their land, the Minister can issue an Order forcing the landowner to allow the oil company access. So what has been happening is Cranberg’s companies use very heavy handed tactic by telling the landowners what they are “entitled” to, and if they don’t agree the oil company will just have the Minister claim the landowner is “unreasonable” and order the oil activities to proceed. Period! That is not much of a negotiation. Cranberg has set up his own rules and implies his companies have the Minister in their pocket,

Spanish Lookout was the first victim. They advised they would certainly cooperate with the oil exploration activities, but requested that BNE please respect the cultural sensitivities of the Mennonite Community, and conduct their business under the same terms and conditions and everyone else in the Community. BNE responded that the government had given them unrestricted rights to do whatever they needed to find oil and SLO had no right to make any demands on them. A meeting with the Geology Department ended with a threat that if SLO did not cooperate fully, the Minister could take their lands away from them. A follow up letter from the Minister reaffirmed the threat.

BNE then approached Wan I Huang of Georgeville with demands for drilling a well, and while Huang was discussing the terms with his lawyer, BNE had the Minister issue an Order claiming Huang was unreasonable and demanding that BNE have access to more than 600 acres of their land without any compensation stipulated for two years.

Western Caribbean Fruit Growers (WCFG) of Blackman Eddy was the next victim as BNE demanded the right to run seismic lines through their orchards. WCFG said they would have to work out a schedule of damages and BNE immediately had the Minister send a letter demanding WCFG come to his office in response to BNE “experiencing difficulties in obtaining consent.”

Another Cranberg company, West Bay Exploration, has recently demanded that a landowner in August Pine Ridge area allow seismic exploration on his land which is under cultivation. The owner advised he would contact his attorney to develop a contract, but instead of negotiating, West Bay had the Minister send a letter demanding the landowner come to his office and explain why West Bay was “experiencing difficulties in obtaining consent.”

Belizean Landowners have met recently to deal with this unreasonable practice of the Cranberg oil companies, of refusing to negotiate and resorting to political pressure to keep from paying reasonable compensation to landowners. The law is clear with the requirement that oil companies must negotiate a contract for compensation with private landowners, and if they can not reach an agreement the problem is resolved by arbitration.

The oil companies refuse to negotiate, instead are demanding landowners accept their terms of minimal payment for any actual damages, with no consideration of consent, interference with the landowners activities or disturbance of the property. By having the Minister interfere with threats before the negotiations are completed destroys any possibility for objective negotiations. The Belizean Landowners are therefore demanding that the Government of Belize and all Oil Contractors accept, consent, and honor the basic rights of all landowners and legal occupiers of Belize private property:

1) Where the contract area includes public land or land which is owned by or vested in the Government, such land shall be used at the discretion of the Government of Belize;

2) Where the contract area includes lands privately owned or legally occupied, such lands are not resources within the Governments’ control”, and shall be used only with the required permission of the private landowner or legal occupier;

3) The Government has the right to license their petroleum rights to oil contractors;

4) Landowners and legal occupiers have the right to: a) determine the reasonable value for permission to use their property b) establish reasonable rental rates and terms for the use of their property for oil exploration, drilling and/or production c) determine a reasonable amount of compensation for consent, interference, disturbance and damages d) determine the reasonable value of their petroleum rights

5) Oil contractors shall not exercise any of their rights under a petroleum contract except with the written consent of the owner or lawful occupier of any private land as specifically required by the Law;

6) No exploration or Production Sharing Agreement or any other agreement with an oil contractor or subcontractor shall grant to any party any rights or access to private property in contradiction to the Laws of Belize.

Is this being unreasonable?


Continuing mind control with oil control

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