We are curious as to why Wall Street Journal had labeled Petrosaudi as an obscure company in their latest article which was published yesterday.
And we checked Petrosaudi’s website just to ensure why.
And what we found is rather perplexing. Indeed PetroSaudi was established in 2005, but it is merely a privately owned company specialising in oil exploration and production. We have always thought that PetroSaudi is a government linked company of Saudi Arabia, or an investment arm of Saudi Arabia.
PetroSaudi was founded in 2005 by Tarek Essam Ahmad Obaid and private investors. PetroSaudi International is a privately owned oil exploration and production company, with its main offices in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland.
If indeed it is a huge company with tremendous track record, its website doesn’t say much about it. There’s not even any investor relations section which could give information mostly available in big corporations’ websites.
No information on Board of Directors, top management and surprisingly, they do not seem to have any track record prior to 2009.
The news on their first foray in oil exploration and production only came about in January 2010 when they first bought their drill-ship, the PetroSaudi Discoverer.
Both ships were acquired by the subsidiary of PetroSaudi called PetroSaudi Oil Services Limited which was founded in 2009.
It seems that PetroSaudi has been dormant since 2005 and coincidentally brought to life when 1MDB gave them USD1 billion in a dodgy joint venture which ended in 2010.
The chronology of this joint venture can thus be reported as below:
September 2009 – Joint venture between 1MDB and PetroSaudi commenced. 1MDB gave USD1 billion to PetroSaudi as payment for the equity shares.
January 2010 – PetroSaudi bought a ship – PetroSaudi Discoverer.
March 2010 – Joint venture with PetroSaudi was terminated barely 6 months after it started without any real oil exploration or production business made. Instead of giving back the USD1 billion in cash money to 1MDB, they transformed that money into loan agreement (by then, PetroSaudi now owes 1MDB USD1 billion plus interest). A few months later, 1MDB gave another USD500 million loan to PetroSaudi.
November 2010 – PetroSaudi acquired another ship – PetroSaudi Saturn.
May 2011 – 1MDB gave another USD330 million loan to PetroSaudi.
August 2011 – PetroSaudi started another business joint venture. This time with Ghana in oil exploration and production.
With the above events taking place, it is really hard not to think that 1MDB was actually subsidising PetroSaudi’s business venture using Malaysian taxpayers’ money. Question is, why did 1MDB enter into a joint venture with a company devoid of any track records, experience or capabilities in oil exploration? They do not even have any drill ships prior to the joint venture.
The only assets that they had was the oil exploration rights, and even that was questioned over its authenticity.
But contrary to PetroSaudi’s website, the 1MDB’s website claimed that PetroSaudi is a state-owned company. How could a state owned company which was trumpeted by the Prime Minister as one of the best thing to have happened to 1MDB, has no track record whatsoever and was dormant until the JV started?
It seems Malaysians were conned into making this deal back in 2009. A very expensive con perpetrated by one called Tarek Obaid and his friends. He could have even used the name of a Saudi Arabia royal family to further his schemes. Isn’t it strange that there is no official mention of a Saudi Arabian prince anywhere in PetroSaudi website?
Maybe after a few wine and dine sessions, all manner concerning good corporate governance and ‘I will never betray the people’ went out the proverbial window of a yacht.
Obviously, birds of feather do flock together.
Not to mention the fact that the website is so simple, it does not reflect a multi-national, hugely successful corporation.
We would have thought that as fellow muslims, you do not cheat other muslims, let alone an entire muslim country. But there is no limit to a person(s)’ greed. No matter how wealthy they are.
We could not even categorise this deceitful business venture as a government to government business deal. What kind of a government project which lasted barely a few months after it was inked but has nothing concrete to show? The deceitful, non governmental ones of course.
How many EPU officers attended the meetings to study about the joint venture? How many paperwork made, how many months of due diligence performed, and how many meetings the cabinet had to discuss the proposal of the joint venture? The answer could be in the region of zero.
PetroSaudi is not a state-owned company. It is a privately owned company run by a gang of con-men. We suspect since 2005, this gang of con-men travelled around the world promising dodgy joint ventures to some gullible governments. And Malaysia was its first victim.
In the end, about USD1.83 billion of our money was given to this obscure yet dodgy company.
PetroSaudi is so dodgy that it was implicated in a case that caused Tony Blair to be sacked from being an envoy for the Middle East.
Apparently PetroSaudi had, since November 2010 been paying Tony Blair about £41,000 (RM205,000) per month to act as a broker in multi million business deals.
Tony Blair eventually stepped down in June 2015.
It seems those who are connected to 1MDB and its conmen will not only lose credibility, they will lose their jobs as well.
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