New readers please see the original two posts. An injunction is urgently needed against mining, as well as oil and gas drilling in Haiti, until the environmental impacts are properly evaluated and discussed by the Haitian people. Please do not invest in Paret Petroleum or in any of the companies mentioned below, which are currently involved with them.
The Paret Petroleum Co (P/P) web site states that they intend to drill 6 oil wells in “Port-au-Prince-(Cul de Sac)” and that this is a 40 million dollar project. They do not tell us exactly where the drilling and oil wells will be. One thing for certain is that it will be over the Cul de Sac Aquifer, which is the primary aquifer (under) ground water) and water source for the Port au Prince area, as well as for the important agricultural area of Plaine de Cul du Sac east of Port-au-Prince, where sugar cane, bananas and fruit trees are grown and irrigation systems have recently been repaired.
With oil or gas drilling comes risk of pollution of the water in the aquifer. The level of risk to the aquifer depends on the care taken in the drilling prcoess (casing, cementing, etc), the geology, the type of drilling, and if drilling is through the aquifer. They are drilling at 18,000 ft. or 5,550 meters meaning that they will drill through the aquifer.
The geology, which is largely characterized by limestone with karst and possibly salt formations, makes the risk of contamination almost certain and poses other problems, as well. Karst means, in fact, that the underground resembles Swiss (Emmentaler) cheese: a complex combination of ever-changing caves, sinkholes and underground cavities. Some especially dramatic worst case scenarios could occur if they decide to drill in Etang Saumatre (Lac Azuei) or other karst lakes and possibly if they drill in the Port-au-Prince Bay.
La Gonave and Hinche, where Paret Petroleum also intend to drill, have similarly risky geologies. Some caves in Hinche have
pre-Columbian cave drawings, which could be placed in danger.
The Plaine du Cul de Sac is bordered by the Enriquillo-Plaintain Garden Fault Zone (EPGFZ), responsible for historic earthquakes and initially believed responsible for the 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquake. Now, it is believed that the stresses along the EPGFZ continue to build. Historic quakes caused liquefaction of soil in this area.
Additionally, any wastewater injection, associated with drilling, would not only contaminate the aquifer, but also could trigger small earthquakes (e.g. Magnitude 4), according to US Geological Survey research.
The Plaine du Cul de Sac is low-lying and prone to flooding, which
creates additional risks of surface and subsurface water pollution (and potential damage to equipment). The oil and gas wells would require storm chokes or similar devices and other precautions.
Furthermore, we seriously doubt that Haiti has the Emergency Management infrastructure or personnel needed to deal with oil or gas well emergencies such as fires, explosions, oil spills, blowouts, nor with the lost circulation issues which are sure to accompany its geology. The risks to human life and the environment in the short and long term are high.
So, where exactly do they mean when they say “Port-au-Prince (Cul du Sac)? Plaine de Cul de Sac runs from the Port au Prince Bay through the City of Port of Prince and on eastward to the Dominican Border. We believe a most likely candidate to be the location, about 23.5 km (14.6 miles) from Cite Soleil/Bay of Port au Prince which you find if you type “Commune Cul de Sac, Haiti” into google maps. On this same map you can see a huge white space lacking all vegetation. However, one web site discusses a neighborhood next to Cite Soleil which calls itself “Plaine de Cul de Sac” and has a population of a little over 800. Wherever the location Paret Petroleum will invade with its “2,000 horsepower moveable land rig for drilling.”
As there are to be 6 oil wells any combination of locations can be possible. There is an online video showing what is supposed to be one of Paret Petroleum’s oil wells in Haiti. It is a small pumpjack, surrounded by a small fence and greenery. You can search Paret Petroleum on youtube or click link It is also on the Paret Petroleum web site.
We have heard that (a) Dutch company (ies) is/are involved with Paret Petroleum. Considering the long history of the Dutch in the oil industry and in the Caribbean their presence in Haiti seems logical. However, we have yet to confirm any links with Paret Petroleum. Nonetheless, when researching Haiti, there always seems to be another layer hidden behind.
There are 11 directors of Paret Petroleum named on their website. link They are the expected mix of Haitian Expatriots (“diaspora”) and Americans (Haitian Expatriots and Canadians seem to predominate for gold mining). The Florida Secretary of State (see link) has only three individuals listed: Emmanuel F. Paret, CEO; Reginald Mathieu, COO; Fritz Paret, Sr., CFO. According to the Paret Petroleum website, engineering and drill work are to be done by American Fabrication (apparently replacing Northstar Falcon discussed on an earlier website: link ) and Wolverine Enterprises.
The directors listed on their website are as follows. Information from the website appears in quotes.
1) Emmanuel Paret, CEO. The website calls him “Founder, CEO” … “Investor, Entrepreneur”. Emmanuel Fritz Paret was born in 1989 and is about 23 years old. He attended the Miami Dade Community College, which offers a 2 year degree, from 2007 to 2010.
2) Fritz (D.) Paret Sr, CFO., called “Investor, Chief Auditer-Chase Manhattan Bank, Investment Banker, BS, MBA” on their web site.
We are unable to confirm Fritz Paret, Sr.’s affiliation with Chase Manhattan. (NB: Auditer is Paret Petroleum’s misspelling.)
3) (Dennis) Fritz Paret Jr, is listed on the webite as “C.O.O”, “Investor, CEO Finding Paradise LLC”. Finding Paradise is inactive since 2007, according to the Florida Secretary of State at link. Fritz Paret, Jr. is not listed by the Florida Secretary of State as C.O.O. of Paret Petroleum
4) Reginald Mathieu, “co-C.O.O.”, is described as “Investor, Service Finance Company- Senior Marketing Analyst, Founder & CEO First Committee Funding Group Inc”. His First Committe Funding Group, Inc. is declared inactive by the Florida Secretary of State. He is listed as C.O.O. of Paret Petroleum by the Florida Secretary of State. We can not confirm his association with Service Finance. He appears related to the Paret family; is believed to be the 38 years old, i.e. the Reginald Paret born ca 1973. Perhaps a grandson of Fritz Paret, Sr.? Or a nephew? More information on the Paret family appears below this list.
5) “Charles Couch, Senior Advisor”, said to have “45 years of experience in experience oil and gas Industry; “CEO and Founder of Couch oil and gas”. At link Couch says “My purpose is simple: drill low-cost, high yield wells to maximize the efforts and investments of myself and my partners”. This is worrisome in the context of Haiti and its special geological needs. The complexity of the geology means that even he may pay dearly for low returns, although not as high a price as Haiti and its people.
6) Bill Stephens, “Senior Advisor” with “35 years experience oil and gas operator, Petroleum Investor, Oil Rig Manufacturer”; “CEO of American Fabrication” in Liberty Texas. The following link says that American Fabrication and Machines was founded in 2012! He is requesting investment monies. Don’t give any him or these other people your money if you love the earth and probably not if you love your money! See: link
7) Tim Sharp “Technical Director” “40 years experience oil & gas industry-President of Gulfstar Energy”. He is listed as President and Treasurer of Gulfstar Energy Group LLC by the Mississippi Secretary of State. Either Gulfstar did not file the 3/30/2012 status report or it is not online (see link)
8) Wes Becker named as “co-Technical Director”; “30 years experience Oil industry business management-Vice President of Gulfstar Energy”.
[Feb. 14, 2014 update: Wes Becker of Stanford Illinois was fined $1,250 for selling at least one ATNG stock (unfortunately we don’t know how many) to an Illinois resident in 2001, when he was not registered to sell stock and the stock itself was not registered in the state of Illinois. The above Wes Becker also lives or has lived in Stanford Illinois. See links and more details at the very end of the comments section.]
9) Peter Mora is “Chief of Security” and “CEO of American Security”. It is doubtful that this means the much-needed geological security but rather security against Haitians.
10) C.G. Haley “Chief Geologist” with “35 years experience –oil & gas evaluations” He is listed online as “Haley energy” in Kentucky.
11) John Durkke “Chief Petroleum Engineer” with “35 years experience oil gas evaluations”. We think that this is probably John Durkee of Tulsa, Oklahoma though he claims “over 20 years experience”.
According to various online sources CEO Emmanuel Fritz Paret, born in 1989, is 23 years old and is related to and probably the son of (Dennis) Fritz Paret, Jr (b. 1959/53 yrs old). He is almost certainly the grandson or the son of Fritz (Den(n)is) Paret, Sr., born ca 1938. COO Reginald Mathieu appears kin to the Parets.
Fritz Paret, Sr. is most likely the same who graduated from the Military Academy in Haiti in the class of “Capois la Mort (1956-57)” and who was apparently a military instructor at the Academy when Haitian Dictator General Prosper Avril was a student from 1958 to 1959. This would appear to be all and the same Fritz Paret, MP Officer, who trained from Sept. 8 to Dec. 9, 1959, at the School of the Americas, often nicknamed School of the Assassins due to Latin American death squad members trained there through the years. Few Haitians trained at the School of the Americas (see: link link2 link3).
On their web site Paret Petroleum (P/P) calls itself a “United States oil and gas exploration company.” They state they are interested in “drilling for oil and gas in Haiti” and that “prospect areas are Port-au-Prince, Hinche, Mare Criton and la Gonave ” and that “As of November 2010” they “have decided to begin exploration in Port-au-Prince- (Cul-de-sac) Haiti.” Their stated “Plan is to drill 6 successful oil wells at 18 thousand feet in Cul-de-sac”…”estimated [each] to produce between 1000-3000 BPD” [Barrels per Day]. Interestingly enough they have a picture entitled “Haiti Pipeline”. It shows a group of 14 pipes elevated off the ground. It is unclear what pipeline this is. Paret Petroleum also states “In addition to drilling for hydrocarbons Paret Petroleum will locate and exploit fresh water thousands of feet beneath the surface of Haiti.” They say all the good things that “Clean fresh water” will do without discussing the fact that the location of the aquifer is known and that they may pollute that same water.
Their physical mailing address is listed as
13846 Atlantic Blvd/Miami, FL 32225/ suite 204
Their phone numbers are (631)647-0486 and (954)662-2788
Their email address is: ParetPetroleum@gmail.com
However, the mailing address registered with the Florida Sec. of State April 19, 2012 is (Fritz Paret, Sr., CFO); 17954 SW 35th St./Miramar FL 33029 and current principal place of businesss is (Emmanuel F. Paret, CEO and registered agent) 17944 SW 35th St. Miramar, FL 33029. The address of Reginald Mathieu, COO, is 2020 NE 135 St.,
Miami, FL, 33181.
In July of last year (2011) Paret Petroleum claimed to be in the process of acquiring oil and gas leases in Afghanistan, Kurdistan and Yemen: link
REFERENCES AND FURTHER INFORMATION:
(NB: short descriptions are not the article titles)
Neighborhood near Cite Soleil called “Plaine de Cul du Sac” link (English)
General Study on Haiti water resources (French)
see page 13 regarding importance of karst in Haiti link
Geology and Flooding in Haiti (French) link
On risk of drilling through aquifers even assuming everything is
done properly. One important term here for further research is lost circulation (English) link
On risk of oil drilling in flood plains (English) link
On relation of oil and gas drilling and earthquakes link
Risks in Plaine de Cul du Sac and interactive map link
Explanation of limestone karst, which characterizes this region and most of Haiti (English) link
Short article/good images explaining karst features: caves, sinkholes, lakes, in the context of Michigan (English) link
Good article explaining karst, its springs and geology and especially the complexities of water contamination and sink holes in karst environments in Kentucky (English) link
Oil drilling and risk in Karst regions (English) link
Drilling in Karst terrain poses additional risk of aquifer contamination (English) link
Drilling and special surface and subsurface mitigation measures needed in karst terrains (English) link
Example of a major catastrophe, involving “lost circulation”, which occurred because of mathematical error. This was in the context of drilling in a lake above a known salt mine. However, something similar could occur if there is drilling in a karst lake like Etang Saumatre in Haiti, IF there is a cave under the lake. Depending on the geology, something similar could theoretically happen drilling offshore in the Bay of Port-au-Prince. Note that these are extreme and alarmist examples. However, in 1980, when this incident occurred there had been over 100 years experience drilling in Louisiana and of its geology, whereas there is no real experience in Haiti. “Lost circulation” does not have to be so dramatic but can still cause aquifer pollution and other environmental problems.
See youtube “Lost Circulation Drains Lake”: link
Also “Update: LA has a history of sinkhole disasters” link
Agricultural sector in Haiti (French) link
Minister of Agriculture (French) link
Plaine de Cul de Sac irrigation system (English) link
US AID agricultural projects mentions risk of flooding (English) link
Florida Judgement won against Prosper Avril under the Alien Torts Act for human rights abuses when he ruled Haiti (English) link
Meeting between General Prosper Avril and current Haitian president Martelly last Oct. 2011 (video Creole and French)
see youtube: Rencontre President Michel Martelly et Prosper Avril link