Biden, Ukraine, Fracking, Shale: the Initiative to support start-ups like Exxon with US Taxpayer dollars
In chronological order, here are some articles about Biden and the business of fracking in Ukraine. Burisma, the company his son was involved with, is very much a part of this struggle for taxpayer funding of capitalist theft of natural resources.
First, from the Burisma Holdings wiki:
Burisma Holdings Limited is an energy exploration and production company registered in Limassol, Cyprus and based in Kyiv, Ukraine. It is a holding company for the Burisma Group of companies. Burisma operates in the Ukrainian oil and gas market since 2002. Burisma is the largest private natural gas producer in Ukraine.
… Board of directors
Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland, was appointed to the board in January 2014. CEO of the company is Taras Burdeinyi and chairman of the board is Alan Apter.
A number of non-Ukrainian directors were appointed in 2014, including Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland, appointed in January 2014. In February 2016, Joseph Cofer Black, the Director of the American CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (CTC) (1999–2002) in the George W. Bush administration and Ambassador at Large for counter-terrorism (2002–2004) joined Burisma’s Board of Directors. Also Karina Zlochevska, daughter of Mykola Zlochevskiy, is a member of the board. Other members of the board are Christina Sofocleous, Riginos Charalampous, and Marina Pericleous.
On 18 April 2014, Hunter Biden, the son of then-US vice president Joe Biden, was appointed to the board of Burisma Holdings. He left the company in April 2019. At the same time, one of the board members was Devon Archer, a former senior adviser to John Kerry 2004 presidential campaign.
Note the dates of these articles in relation to the Ukraine coup and civil war slaughter:
Vice President Joe Biden Promotes U.S. as Fracking Missionary Force On Ukraine Trip
By Steve Horn
April 23, 2014
During his two-day visit this week to Kiev, Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden unfurled President Barack Obama's “U.S. Crisis Support Package for Ukraine.”
A key part of the package involves promoting the deployment of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in Ukraine. Dean Neu, professor of accounting at York University in Toronto, describes this phenomenon in his book “Doing Missionary Work.” And in this case, it involves the U.S. acting as a modern-day missionary to spread the gospel of fracking to further its own interests.
… The U.S. oil and gas industry has long lobbied to “weaponize” its fracking prowess to fend off Russian global gas market dominance. It's done so primarily in two ways.
One way: by transforming the U.S. State Department into a global promoter of fracking via its Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program (formerly the Global Shale Gas Initiative), which is a key, albeit less talked about, part of President Obama's “Climate Action Plan.”
The other way: by exporting U.S. fracked gas to the global market, namely EU countries currently heavily dependent on Russia's gas spigot.
… Gas “Support Package” Details
Within the energy security section of the aid package, the White House promises in “the coming weeks, expert teams from several U.S. government agencies will travel to the region to help Ukraine meet immediate and longer term energy needs.”
That section contains three main things the U.S. will do to ensure U.S. oil and gas companies continue to profit during this geopolitical stand-off.
1) Help with pipelines and securing access to gas at the midstream level of production.
“Today, a U.S. interagency expert team arrived in Kyiv to help Ukraine secure reverse flows of natural gas from its European neighbors,” the White House fact sheet explains. “Reverse flows of natural gas will provide Ukraine with additional immediate sources of energy.”
2) Technical assistance to help boost conventional gas production in Ukraine. That is, gas obtained not from fracking and horizontal drilling, but via traditional vertical drilling.
As the White House explains, “U.S. technical experts will join with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and others in May to help Ukraine develop a public-private investment initiative to increase conventional gas production from existing fields to boost domestic energy supply.”
3) Shale gas missionary work.
“A technical team will also engage the government on measures that will help the Ukrainian government ensure swift and environmentally sustainable implementation of contracts signed in 2013 for shale gas development,” says the White House.
ExxonMobil Teaching Russia Fracking
Ironically, as the U.S. government teams up with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to teach Ukraine fracking in order to wean the country off of Russian gas, U.S.-based “private empire” ExxonMobil is doing the same work in Russia to help the country tap into its shale oil and gas bounty.
Among its myriad partnerships with the Russian oil and gas industry, ExxonMobil has signed a joint venture in December 2013 with state-owned company Rosneft to help it tap the massive Bazhenov Shale basin.
… Climate Change Taboo
Traditionally, missionaries do charity work in service to humanity. But the enormous climate impact of fracking — given the climate change math — calls those doing the Lord's work in the shale gas sphere into question.
So in the case of the U.S. government and Ukraine, the concept of missionary work has been flipped on its head.
That is, the most profitable companies on the face of the planet — both in the U.S. and in Russia — are set to profit at the expense of everyone else, including the stability of earth's climate system.
Russia’s silent shale gas victory in Ukraine
The vast shale gas reserves in the separatist-held Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions are an important element not to be overlooked when analysing the Ukraine crisis, writes Szilvia Batkov.
… Before the civil war, Ukraine had agreements with the energy giants to explore and tap its shale gas fields in hope to reduce the country’s heavy dependency on Russian gas imports. In the Donetsk Region Shell had a 50-year profit sharing deal with the government of Ukraine to explore and drill for natural gas in shale rock formations.
US energy giant Chevron also signed a similar deal for $10 billion, but it was focusing on developing shale gas reserves in the West of Ukraine. However, one year into the Russia-backed conflict, both decided to freeze or postpone their shale-exploring activities in Ukraine. Probably also driven by the low gas prices, the profit-oriented energy giants simply shied away from their shale projects in the conflict-ridden country, citing the lack of security for their investments and worsening extraction prospects as their main reasons.
… It is hard to miss the massive American interest in Europe’s desire to cut dependency of Russia and simultaneously Ukraine’s promising shale gas prospects. Besides the obvious profit-oriented business interests of American companies in tapping the shale gas of Ukraine, as usually, politics and strategic foreign political interests are also at play in the war for Ukraine’s new gas potential.
The EU and the US are currently negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP), which, if agreed, could be very advantageous for the multinational fracking lobby. When President Obama attended an EU-US summit in Brussels in 2014 to discuss the Ukraine crisis, he said the new trans-Atlantic trade agreement would make it easier for his administration to approve American LNG exports to the EU.
However, as long as TTIP is not signed and with significant problems in Poland, Ukraine seems to be the only way for the US shale gas lobby to set its feet in CEE. Vice President Joe Biden announced that the United States would bring in technical experts to speed up Ukraine’s shale gas development.
In fact, the Biden family was so interested in Ukraine, that his son Hunter was appointed to the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, Burisma Holdings. This has put Ukraine’s shale gas question into a new perspective – at least from the American viewpoint.
Burisma holds licenses covering the Dnieper-Donets basin in the eastern Ukraine and Biden Jr. is not the only American with political ties to have recently joined the company’s board. Devon Archer, a former senior advisor to current Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and a college roommate of Kerry’s stepson, signed up with Burisma in April 2014.
... If the explorations indeed confirm Ukraine’s estimated shale reserves, these would become a significant danger to Russia’s monopoly over the multi-billion euros gas supplies to Europe. By continuing its officially denied support of the separatists in keeping Ukraine’s shale gas untapped, Moscow has also averted another crisis; American shale gas interests setting foot right at its doorsteps at the Ukrainian border and the European gas markets.
In Russia’s silent shale gas victory in Ukraine, the Russian-backed rebels fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions ensured that at least for the near future, Ukraine’s shale gas potential will not be able to challenge Gazprom’s gas monopoly in the region.
Hillary Clinton’s Energy Initiative Pressed Countries to Embrace Fracking, New Emails Reveal
Lee Fang, Steve Horn
May 23 2016
… emails obtained by The Intercept show that State Department officials worked closely with private sector oil and gas companies, pressed other agencies within the Obama administration to commit federal government resources including technical assistance for locating shale reserves, and distributed agreements with partner nations pledging to help secure investments for new fracking projects… The campaign included plans to spread the drilling technique to China, South Africa, Romania, Morocco, Bulgaria, Chile, India, Pakistan, Argentina, Indonesia, and Ukraine… A number of energy companies that worked closely with the State Department now employ lobbyists that are fundraising furiously for Clinton’s campaign. ExxonMobil’s top lobbyist, as well as lobbyists for liquefied natural gas terminals designed to connect the U.S. to the global gas market, are among the most prolific fundraisers.
… The Global Shale Gas Initiative, Clinton’s program for promoting fracking, was announced on April 7, 2010, by David Goldwyn, the State Department’s special envoy for energy affairs, at the United States Energy Association (USEA), whose members include Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Shell.