With 2012 gone, it’s time to check in on good old Arevenca, the defunct Venezuelan gravel company that signed a deal to provide $200 billion a year in oil products to China’s most important aircraft manufacturer. It crosses my mind for two reasons. First, Arevenca is the most popular search term bringing people to this website. Hello, Arevenca fans! Second, I hear via the e-mail that people involved in the deal travel the world, rightly bragging about their roles in forging this $2 trillion-with-a-tree, 10-year “oil deal” with Chinese aircraft maker XAC.
So how is the deal doing? Let’s start with Chinese customs, where we can see how much oil and fuel oil the country imported in 2012. In round figures, 2 million tons a month of fuel oil and 23 million tons of crude oil. That works out to at most 175 million barrels a month of imports, which at $100 a barrel would be $17.5 billion a month, or just over $200 billion a year. So, apparently Arevenca is now brokering substantially all of China’s fuel imports. Congratulations.
But for all that success, it’s a shame that most of those involved haven’t gotten credit. The Arevenca press release and EFE’s adulatory TV news report never gave the names of most of the participants. This is a disgrace. These people were involved in the biggest oil deal in history. They deserve to be recognized. Here (once again) is the high-res photo from the ceremony:
Let’s see what we can do to catch up with the players:
XAC, the Chinese airline that signed the deal with Arevenca, added a “news” page to its website that goes back far enough that it includes the date of this mammoth deal. For some reason, the deal isn’t there — another travesty of justice. In fact, the term Arevenca doesn’t show up anywhere on the XAC website, nor on the site of its import-export company, XAC IEC, whose name appeared on the banner behind the bigwigs at the signing ceremony. I take offense that this company would want to bury the truth about the biggest oil deal in the history of the world, so I’m here to ensure the public knows all about it.
Of course, it’s possible that EFE, the Spanish news agency sometimes known as “iffy,” got some details wrong. For example, “Avic XAC Group,” which EFE named as the counterparty with Arevenca, shows up on the internet only in documents containing the term “Arevenca.” (6,000 hits with vs 3 hits without.) But it’s not like they’ve never met Martino Schiera, who in the news clip aired by EFE is called “Executive President” of XAC IEC. Because he, in fact, DOES show up on the XAC IEC website, right here.
There, 7th guy in line, going left to right, looks like Martino Schiera. So while he’s pretty clearly not Executive President of either XAC or XAC-IEC, he has actually visited their company. Better than nothing. I’m sure in all that Chinese it says Schiera is executive president of XAC, right? What, no? Oh, I get these two translations and they say the article describes Schiera as head of some company in Hong Kong with no English translation. One pal pointed out that there was once a small company in Beijing with almost the same name, but it is now defunct. Google comes up with “Bowker World Energy Technology Co Ltd” as a translation.
Speaking of the people who were at the Arevenca-XAC ceremony, look at this new picture from China. The tall bald guy in the middle — he was there too. That is Abraham “Bram” Reek, according to my correspondents. He is a Dutchman who really hasn’t gotten his fair share of the publicity in the Arevenca deal. In fact, it’s thanks to his work that we have wonderful high-resolution photos of the event on the web. On that page it credits Rebram Investment Group NV, which is Reek’s company.
But getting back to the Schiera family. One commenter said Schiera is son-in-law of a Communist Party big-shot, but I haven’t been able to confirm that. I am pretty sure the nice lady on the right is Elena Schiera, Martino’s sister. She was interviewed by the now-defunct Italian-language site “AssistenteDirezione.it,” with a couple photos showing that it was likely her, where she said she was “Personal Assistant for the Chairman of the Government Agency of the Republic of China for the Agro-Food Sector in China and, in particular, for the Agro-Food Industry Division Promoting Italian and Mediterranean Diet Food.” So she may have helped increase Chilean oil exports to China too!
The guy who is third from the left, that’s Glenbert Croes. He was once vice prime minister of Aruba. His father was the country’s independence hero. He was by several accounts the single biggest factor in people giving credibility to Arevenca. He seems pretty out of touch these days. Website hasn’t been updated in forever. No news about him. His e-mail is still in the Suriname corporations registry as the person responsible for a couple of the local incarnations of Arevenca.
The guy next to him, fourth from the left, is Octavio Rafael Alicandro Briceño. He is another person with a long list of Venezuelan court cases on the web. His name also shows up in the Betteroads litigation against Arevenca, among other things. I’d say that no one gets more hate mail around here than him, but I’ve never managed to reach him. Mr. Alicandro, if you ever want equal time, feel free to send an e-mail and it will be published verbatim. No problem at all.
Then comes Schiera, then someone I still haven’t identified, and then Francisco Javier González. You’ll all be pleased to know that his ordeal in Aruba ended and he is now in Europe.
And finally, in celebration of Venezuelan Vice President and Acting President Nicolas Maduro’s accession to de facto head of state, I thought I’d post this for old times’ sake. The top dogs of Arevenca at the swearing in of Suriname’s president, with Maduro standing in the background. Small continent, this here is.