How Secretary 0f State Tillerson will lift sanctions on Russia – on behalf of Secretary of State Tillerson
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Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State, swung BIG oil deals with Russia while at Exxon Mobil, will he do the same for the Trump White House if Russian sanctions are lifted? Russia gave Rex a medal once…
Memos: CEO of Russia’s state oil company offered Trump adviser, allies a cut of huge deal if sanctions were lifted
By Natasha Bertrand / Business Insider / Jan 27, 2017
A dossier with unverified claims about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia contained allegations that Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russia’s state oil company, offered former Trump ally Carter Page (photo) and his associates the brokerage of a 19% stake in the company in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions on Russia.
The dossier says the offer was made in July, when Page was in Moscow giving a speech at the Higher Economic School. The claim was sourced to “a trusted compatriot and close associate” of Sechin, according to the dossier’s author, former British spy Christopher Steele.
“Sechin’s associate said that the Rosneft president was so keen to lift personal and corporate western sanctions imposed on the company, that he offered Page and his associates the brokerage of up to a 19 per cent (privatised) stake in Rosneft,” the dossier said. “In return, Page had expressed interest and confirmed that were Trump elected US president, then sanctions on Russia would be lifted.”
Four months before the intelligence community briefed Trump, then-President Barack Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and the nation’s top lawmakers on the dossier’s claims — most of which have not been independently verified but are being investigated by US intelligence agencies — a US intelligence source told Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff that Sechin met with Page during Page’s three-day trip to Moscow. Sechin, the source told Yahoo, raised the issue of the US lifting sanctions on Russia under Trump.
Page was an early foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign. He took a “leave of absence” in September after news broke of his July trip to Moscow, and the campaign later denied that he had ever worked with it.
Page, for his part, was “noncommittal” in his response to Sechin’s requests that the US lift the sanctions, the dossier said. But he signaled that doing so would be Trump’s intention if he won the election, and he expressed interest in Sechin’s offer, according to the document.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump suggested the sanctions could be lifted if Moscow proved to be a useful ally. “If you get along and if Russia is really helping us,” Trump asked, “why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?”
Page has criticized the US sanctions on Russia as “sanctimonious expressions of moral superiority.” He praised Sechin in a May 2014 blog post for his “accomplishments” in advancing US-Russia relations. A US official serving in Russia while Page worked at Merrill Lynch in Moscow told Isikoff that Page “was pretty much a brazen apologist for anything Moscow did.”
Page is also believed to have met with senior Kremlin internal affairs official Igor Diveykin while he was in Moscow last July, according to Isikoff’s intelligence sources. The dossier separately claimed that Diveykin — whom US officials believe was responsible for the intelligence collected by Russia about the US election — met with Page and hinted that the Kremlin possessed compromising information about Trump.
It is unclear whether Isikoff’s reporting is related to the dossier, which has been circulating among top intelligence officials, lawmakers, and journalists since mid-2016.
A scramble for a foreign investor
After mid-October, the dossier said, Sechin predicted that it would no longer be possible for Trump to win the presidency, so he “put feelers out to other business and political contacts” to purchase a stake in Rosneft.
|Rosneft (Russian: Росне́фть, IPA: [rɐˈsʲnʲefʲtʲ]) is an integrated oil company majority owned by the Government of Russia. Rosneft is headquartered in Moscow’s Balchug district near the Kremlin, across the Moskva River. Rosneft became Russia’s leading extraction and refinement company after purchasing assets of former oil giant Yukos at state-run auctions. In March 2013, Rosneft became the largest publicly traded oil company, after buying TNK-BP. Source
Rosneft conducts oil and gas exploration and production activities on Sakhalin island, Siberia, Timan-Pechora field and in southern Russia, including Chechnya. It owns and operates two refineries. The refinery in Tuapse, on the Black Sea, focuses on refining high-gravity oil from western Siberia. Another plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur is the easternmost refinery in Russia.
Rosneft then scrambled to find a foreign investor, holding talks with more than 30 potential buyers from Europe, the US, Asia, and the Middle East. The company signed a deal on December 7 to sell 19.5% of shares, or roughly $11 billion, to the multinational commodity trader Glencore Plc and Qatar’s state-owned wealth fund. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is Glencore’s largest shareholder.
The “11th hour deal” was “so last minute,” Reuters reported, “that it appeared it would not close in time to meet the government’s deadline for booking money in the budget from the sale.”
The purchase amounted to the biggest foreign investment in Russia since US sanctions took effect in 2014. It showed that “there are some forces in the world that are ready to help Russia to circumvent the [West’s] sanction regime,” said Lilia Shevtsova, an associate fellow in the Russia and Eurasia program at Chatham House.
“In Russia we have a marriage between power and business, and that is why all important economic deals need approval and the endorsement of the authorities,” Shevtsova said. “This was a very serious commercial deal that hardly could have succeeded without the direct involvement of the Kremlin.”
The privatization deal was funded by Gazprombank, whose parent company is the state-owned Russian energy giant Gazprom. Page holds investments in Gazprom, though he claimed in a letter to FBI Director James Comey in September that he sold his stake in the company “at a loss.” His website says he served as an adviser “on key transactions” for the state-owned energy giant before setting up his energy investment fund, Global Energy Capital, in 2008 with former Gazprom executive Sergei Yatsenko.
There is no evidence that Carter played any role in the Rosneft deal. But he was back in Moscow on December 8 — one day after the deal was signed — to “meet with some of the top managers” of Rosneft, he told reporters at the time. Page denied meeting with Sechin, Rosneft’s CEO, during that trip but said it would have been “a great honor” if he had.
The Rosneft deal, Page added, was “a good example of how American private companies are unfortunately limited to a great degree due to the influence of sanctions.” He said the US and Russia had entered “a new era” of relations but that it was still “too early” to discuss whether Trump would be easing or lifting sanctions on Moscow.
Page’s extensive business ties to state-owned Russian companies were investigated by a counterintelligence task force set up last year by the CIA. The investigation, which is reportedly ongoing, has examined whether Russia was funneling money into Trump’s presidential campaign — and, if it was, who was serving as the liaison between the Trump team and the Kremlin.
The dossier claims that Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort asked Page to be the liaison. That claim has not been verified. Manafort served as a top adviser to a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine from 2004 to 2012 and emerged as a central figure in both the dossier and the intelligence community’s early inquiries into Trump’s ties to Russia.
Editor’s note: This article originally stated that Carter and his associates were offered a 19% stake in Rosneft. They were allegedly offered the brokerage of the 19% stake, whose purchase by the QIA and Glencore was ultimately facilitated by Gazprombank.
How Russia sold its oil jewel: without saying who bought it
By Katya Golubkova, Dmitry Zhdannikov and Stephen Jewkes / Reuters / Jan 25, 2017
More than a month after Russia announced one of its biggest privatizations since the 1990s, selling a 19.5 percent stake in its giant oil company Rosneft, it still isn’t possible to determine from public records the full identities of those who bought it.
The stake was sold for 10.2 billion euros to a Singapore investment vehicle that Rosneft said was a 50/50 joint venture between Qatar and the Swiss oil trading firm Glencore.
Unveiling the deal at a televised meeting with Rosneft’s boss Igor Sechin on Dec. 7, President Vladimir Putin called it a sign of international faith in Russia, despite U.S. and EU financial sanctions on Russian firms including Rosneft.
“It is the largest privatization deal, the largest sale and acquisition in the global oil and gas sector in 2016,” Putin said.
It was also one of the biggest transfers of state property into private hands since the early post-Soviet years, when allies of President Boris Yeltsin took control of state firms and became billionaires overnight.
But important facts about the deal either have not been disclosed, cannot be determined solely from public records, or appear to contradict the straightforward official account of the stake being split 50/50 by Glencore and the Qataris.
For one: Glencore contributed only 300 million euros of equity to the deal, less than 3 percent of the purchase price, which it said in a statement on Dec. 10 had bought it an “indirect equity interest” limited to just 0.54 percent of Rosneft.
In addition, public records show the ownership structure of the stake ultimately includes a Cayman Islands company whose beneficial owners cannot be traced.
And while Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo leant the Singapore vehicle 5.2 billion euros to fund the deal, and Qatar put in 2.5 billion, the sources of funding for nearly a quarter of the purchase price have not been disclosed by any of the parties.
“The main question in relation to this transaction, as ever, still sounds like this: Who is the real buyer of a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft?” Sergey Aleksashenko, a former deputy head of Russia’s central bank, wrote in a blog last week.
Glencore would not comment on the identity of the Cayman Islands firm or give a further explanation of how ownership of the 19.5 percent stake was divided.
The Qatari Investment Authority said it would not comment on the deal, beyond confirming that it has participated in it.
Rosneft declined to respond to questions posed by Reuters, including a request for comment on how ownership of the 19.5 percent stake was divided, information about the identity of the Cayman Islands buyer, or details of the source of any undisclosed sources of funds.
The Kremlin did not respond to a list of questions about the deal sent by Reuters.
Like many large deals, the Rosneft privatization uses a structure of shell companies owning shell companies, commonly referred to in Russia as a “matryoshka“, after the wooden nesting dolls that open to reveal a smaller doll inside.
Following the trail of ownership leads to a Glencore UK subsidiary and a company that shares addresses with the Qatari Investment Authority, but also to a firm registered in the Cayman Islands, which does not require companies to record publicly who owns them.
The Singapore-registered investment vehicle that holds the newly privatized 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft is called QHG Shares. It is owned by a London-registered limited liability partnership, QHG Investments, which in turn lists as one of its two owners another London-registered limited liability partnership, QHG Holding, created on Dec. 5.
One of the partners in QHG Holding is QHG Cayman Limited, registered at an address of the Cayman Islands office of Walkers, an international law firm.
Jack Boldarin, Walkers managing partner in London, told Reuters the law firm would not be able to confirm whether any company was its client, or comment further.
The use of an offshore company is by itself no indication of wrongdoing, but it can make it impossible to determine the true owner of an asset from public records.
The Singapore vehicle is also the borrower for Intesa’s 5.2 billion euro loan, and QHG Holdings, the London partnership that includes the Cayman Islands firm, is a guarantor of that debt.
Banking experts say Intesa would be required by “know your customer” rules to verify the borrowers’ identities. Regulators would exercise heightened scrutiny because of the size of the deal and the need to comply with sanctions on Russia.
Reuters asked Intesa whether it knew who the beneficial owners of the Cayman company were. The bank replied with a statement: “Intesa Sanpaolo does not comment on the details of its client operations. But we wish to reiterate that the financing was completed with strict adherence to the regulations applicable to embargoes. Italian authorities found nothing that would prohibit such an operation.”
The Italian central bank, which serves as Italy’s banking regulator, declined to comment.
(For a graphic showing the ownership of the privatized stake, click on: tmsnrt.rs/2jJvBpk )
If the full identity of the new owners of the Rosneft stake is a mystery, so too is the complete source of the funds with which they bought it.
Although Qatar has never publicly confirmed how much it has contributed to the deal or the size of the stake that it bought, Glencore and Rosneft say it contributed 2.5 billion euros. Along with the 300 million from Glencore and the 5.2 billion loaned by Intesa, that still leaves a shortfall of 2.2 billion euros.
Glencore has said this additional money came from other, undisclosed banks, including Russian banks, but has given no further details. The Qataris and Rosneft have declined to comment on the source of this funding.
The purpose of Russia’s privatization program is to attract overseas money to cover a budgetary shortfall caused by low oil prices and Western sanctions. Putin has therefore banned Russian state-owned banks from participating in the financing of privatization deals, which would defeat the aim of bringing in foreign capital.
But public records in Singapore show that Russia’s second-largest bank, state-controlled VTB, loaned the Singapore vehicle QHG Shares the full 10.2 billion euros that it paid to the Russian state last month to buy the stake.
VTB held the 19.5 percent Rosneft stake as collateral for that loan for part of December, before relinquishing it back to Rosneft’s state-owned parent company Rosneftegaz, which in turn relinquished it back to the Singapore vehicle when Intesa’s loan arrived in January.
VTB and Rosneft say VTB’s role in the deal was solely to reduce market turbulence which would have arisen if the 10.2 billion euros had arrived abruptly from abroad to be converted to roubles on the open market.
Apart from saying that its role was to reduce market volatility, VTB declined to comment further, including when asked if the full 10.2 billion euros was paid back, or by whom.
FINDING A BUYER
Rosneft is the world’s biggest listed oil company by output and, along with natural gas export monopoly Gazprom, one of two crown jewels of the Russian state.
Even at the best of times without the added risk of Western sanctions, there would only be a few foreign investors with deep enough pockets to buy a big stake.
Glencore, one of the main buyers of Rosneft’s crude, has Qatar’s $335 billion sovereign wealth fund, the QIA, as its largest shareholder.
Russia and Qatar have backed opposite sides for years in the war in Syria, but as the world’s two leading natural gas exporters they have good reason to cooperate on energy issues and bury some of their differences over Middle East policy. “The idea looked appealing to Qatar. They like investing in energy. They saw upside in Rosneft. They saw upside in building relations with Russia, whose role in the Middle East politics is only set to rise,” said one source involved in talks among members of the Qatar/Glencore consortium about the purchase. According to a source close to Rosneft’s management board, the deal came as a surprise to Rosneft’s shareholders, including Britain’s BP (BP.L), which itself owns 19.75 percent of Rosneft and is represented on its board.
The Rosneft board learned about the sale from Sechin himself only on Dec. 7, several hours after Sechin recorded his televised meeting with Putin announcing it, the source said.
In response to questions from Reuters, BP said: “Matters of the board of directors are confidential.”
Two sources in the Russian government said the deal was also a surprise there: it had been agreed between Sechin and Putin’s Kremlin, above the cabinet. “Sechin did it all on his own – the government did not take part in this,” one of the sources said.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s spokeswoman Natalia Timakova said: “All documents and procedures needed for privatization were prepared and executed on time.”
($1 = 59.2518 roubles)
(Additional reporting by Peter Graff in LONDON, Valentina Za in MILAN, Tom Finn in DOHA, Vladimir Soldatkin, Oksana Kobzeva, Darya Korsunskaya, Polina Nikolskaya, Andrey Ostroukh and Vladimir Abramov in MOSCOW; Writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Peter Graff)
Cayman company involved in $11B Russian oil privatization
By Michael Klein / Cayman Compass / Jan 31, 2017
A Cayman Islands company that forms part of a joint venture structure in one of the largest Russian privatizations of state property since the 1990s potentially obscures some of the investors in the deal.
The December sale of a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft, the biggest listed oil company by output in the world, to a joint venture between Swiss commodities trading group Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority also includes “a Cayman Islands company whose beneficial owners cannot be traced,” news agency Reuters reported on Monday.
While Rosneft ostensibly sold the stake for 10.2 billion euros (US$11 billion) to a Singapore investment vehicle, which constitutes a 50/50 joint venture between Qatar and Glencore, the Reuters article said “it still isn’t possible to determine from public records the full identities of those who bought it.”
According to the news agency, important facts about the deal have not been disclosed. In a Dec. 10 statement, Glencore confirmed that it had contributed 300 million euros in equity to the “50:50 consortium,” while Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund committed 2.5 billion euros.
The remaining funds for the purchase of the Rosneft stake were “to be provided by non-recourse bank financing, principally by Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A., with Russian banks also providing financing and credit support.”
Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo loaned the Singapore vehicle, QHG Shares, 5.2 billion euros, but the source of the remaining 2.2 billion euros remains unknown.
QHG Shares is owned by QHG Investments, a U.K.-registered limited liability partnership. One of the two owners of QHG Investments is QHG Holding, another U.K. limited liability partnership.
Records at U.K. Companies House show that one of the partners in QHG Holding is QHG Cayman Ltd., a company registered in the corporate services office of offshore law firm Walkers in the Cayman Islands. The company was appointed as a designated member of the limited partnership on Dec. 16, nine days after Rosneft announced the deal and 11 days after QHG Holding was formed.
Unlike the information available in the corporate registry of the U.K., details about the beneficial owners of a Cayman Islands entity, like QHG Cayman Ltd., are not publicly available.
Rosneft, Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority declined to comment on the Cayman Islands company in the structure and other sources of financing in the deal, Reuters said.
Fueling conspiracy theorists, the potential sale of the Rosneft stake was the subject of an alleged intelligence dossier on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The dossier circulated among U.S. media and the intelligence community last year before news website BuzzFeed published it online on Jan. 10. It alleged, among other things, that in July 2016 Rosneft executive chairman Igor Sechin and one of his close advisers held secret meetings with Carter Page, at the time a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.
During the alleged meetings, the dossier purported, Mr. Sechin had pushed for lifting U.S. sanctions against Russia in connection with the conflict in Ukraine. In addition, Mr. Sechin’s associate had offered Mr. Page’s and Mr. Trump’s associates “the brokerage of up to a 19 percent (privatized) stake in Rosneft” if the sanctions were lifted.
The dossier claimed “Page had expressed interest and confirmed that were Trump elected U.S. president, then sanction on Russia would be lifted.”
Although the claims, and in fact the entire dossier, may be fabricated and false, Cayman’s privacy laws do little to prevent these types of conspiracy theories from thriving.
There could be many reasons for the involvement of the Cayman Islands vehicle in the joint venture structure. In addition to providing a neutral platform in a stable legal system, the structure could offer tax advantages. However, if the owner of the Cayman entity came from another jurisdiction with strict privacy laws, it would also be nearly impossible to identify the beneficial owners unless a crime has been committed.
Examples like the Rosneft deal could potentially be used to reignite the local debate about public registers of beneficial owners.
The Legislative Assembly this month will debate some of the amendments needed to create a centralized platform for information sharing with foreign authorities upon request. Full story
A timeline of Rex Tillerson’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin
By Sonam Sheth / Business Insider / Dec 13, 2016
Tillerson’s nomination as Washington’s top diplomat and the primary conduit between the United States and foreign governments has drawn criticism from those worried about his connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The photos below illustrate the evolution of Tillerson’s relationship with Putin, beginning after Exxon struck a deal with Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft in 1999 and ending with Putin awarding Tillerson Russia’s Order of Friendship medal in 2013. Tillerson initially met Putin in 1999 on the Sakhalin island in Russia’s Far East, when Exxon struck a deal with Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft. The two men have met a number of times since then, as Tillerson continued building a relationship with Putin through his business interests in Russia.
Vladimir Putin, 5th left, seen during his meeting with U.S. oil business top executives in Washington, Friday, Sept. 16, 2005. Tillerson is first from the left. AP
In 2011, Exxon signed another deal with Rosneft for a lucrative $3.2 billion oil deal that would give Exxon permission to develop offshore oil fields in the Russian Arctic in exchange for Rosneft getting stakes in a number of Exxon’s US-based projects.
Putin shakes hands with Tillerson after their meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Monday, April 16, 2012.
Rosneft and Exxon were enthusiastic about the deal and expanded it in 2013. But it was canceled one year later, when the US imposed sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea and invasion of Eastern Ukraine. Tillerson sharply condemned the sanctions, saying they caused “broad collateral damage.”
Vladimir Putin and Rex Tillerson shake hands at a signing ceremony of an agreement between state-controlled Russian oil company Rosneft and Exxon Mobil corporation at the Black Sea port of Tuapse, southern Russia, Friday, June 15, 2012. AP
Critics have expressed concern over Tillerson’s nomination because of potential conflicts of interest. One of the first issues on Tillerson’s agenda, for example, may be weighing whether to lift sanctions on Russia. Tillerson currently holds $151 million in Exxon stock, and the value of that stock would increase if sanctions were lifted.
In 2012, Putin presented Tillerson with a Russian medal at an award ceremony of heads and employees of energy companies at the St. Petersburg economic forum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Putin even personally awarded Tillerson with Russia’s Order of Friendship medal in 2013, the highest honor bestowed on foreign citizens. It is given to foreigners whom the Russian government believes have helped Russia and its people.
Rex Tillerson Is Confirmed as Secretary of State Amid Record Opposition
By Gardiner Harris / The New York Times / Feb 1, 2017
WASHINGTON — Rex W. Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil, was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday in a 56-to-43 vote to become the nation’s 69th secretary of state just as serious strains have emerged with important international allies.
The votes against Mr. Tillerson’s confirmation were the most in Senate history for a secretary of state, a reflection of Democratic unease with President Trump’s early foreign policy pronouncements that threaten to upend a multilateral approach that has guided United States presidents since World War II.
Thirteen senators voted in 2005 against Condoleezza Rice in the midst of a deteriorating Iraq war, and in 1825, Henry Clay was confirmed 27 to 14, the record for votes against until Wednesday, according to a tally provided by the Senate Historical Office. In a brief swearing-in ceremony in the Oval Office on Wednesday evening, Mr. Trump said Mr. Tillerson understood “the importance of strengthening our alliances and forming new alliances to enhance our strategic interests and the safety of our people.” Mr. Trump added, “It’s time to bring a clear-eyed focus on foreign affairs, to take a fresh look at the world around us, and to seek new solutions grounded in very ancient truths.” Full story
New York: NO Chuck Schumer, NO Kirsten Gillibrand / Pennsylvania: YES Toomey, NO Casey
Ohio: YES Rob Portman, NO Sherrod Brown / Colorado: YES Cory Gardner, NO Michael Bennet
WV: YES Joe Manchin III, YES Shelley Moore Capito / Texas: YES John Cornyn, YES Ted Cruz
Wyoming: YES John Barrasso, YES Michael B. Enzi / Louisiana: YES John Kennedy, YES Bill Cassidy
Kentucky: YES Rand Paul, YES Mitch McConnell / Alabama: YES Richard C Shelby, YES Jeff Sessions
Rex Tillerson’s Maverick Oil Diplomacy
By Jeremy Ashkenas / The New York Times / Jan 11, 2017
Rex W. Tillerson, former chief executive of ExxonMobil and Donald J. Trump’s nominee to be secretary of state, has conducted his own brand of oil-oriented diplomacy during his 41-year career at Exxon, a company that has often cut deals with authoritarian leaders of politically unstable countries.
As the largest oil company in the world not owned by a state, Exxon has had to work in “underexplored regions with higher risk, but higher reward potential,” as Mr. Tillerson, 64, said at a shareholder meeting last year.
After Mr. Tillerson’s nomination was floated by Mr. Trump, Reince Priebus, who will be the White House chief of staff, echoed a saying coined in a speech by former Vice President Dick Cheney:
“The good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States.”
In 2011, the State Department was working on a deal to share Iraq’s oil revenue among its ethnically fractured provinces, hoping to financially tie together the Shiite political power center in Baghdad with Sunni provinces in the west and the Kurds in the north.
But Mr. Tillerson cut a deal directly with the semiautonomous Kurdish administration, sidelining Washington and undermining Iraq’s fledgling central government.
Iraqi officials argued that they had warned Exxon not to sign oil deals directly with the Kurdish regional government, and that such deals would be considered illegal until the revenue-sharing rules had been worked out.
In the following month, the Iraqi government refused to pay Exxon a multimillion dollar fee for two years of the company’s work in a southeastern oil field.
According to a 2012 book by the journalist Steve Coll that chronicled the international deals of ExxonMobil, Mr. Tillerson arranged a conference call to explain his Kurdistan maneuver to senior State Department officials, telling them, “I had to do what was best for my shareholders.” Exxon abandoned three of the six oil exploration zones it had been operating in Iraqi Kurdistan last year.
One of Mr. Tillerson’s first global challenges as a young oil executive in the 1990s was serving as the Exxon president and country manager for Yemen. The country was a newborn state at the time, having only recently unified the populous, republican north with a smaller Marxist government in the south.
Mr. Tillerson was credited with playing hardball with the negotiating team of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, refusing to change the terms of the deal when the government wanted to alter it on the night before he was to return to Texas. Mr. Tillerson stormed out of the negotiations at one point, throwing a five-inch-thick book across the room.
This is the sort of uncompromising international dealmaking that Mr. Trump might value in a secretary of state.
In October 2001, officials from the World Bank, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Petronas of Malaysia joined the presidents of Chad and Cameroon in a ceremony celebrating the start of one of the largest oil infrastructure projects in African history: a $4.2 billion, 665-mile pipeline to carry crude oil from the floodplains of southern Chad, through Cameroon and to the Atlantic coast. “I view the Chad project as a clean sheet of paper,” said Mr. Tillerson, at the time an executive vice president. “We have the opportunity to put things in place perhaps the way you’d like to see them carried out from the very beginning.”
Exxon had a presence in Chad since 1988, but the agreement, organized by the oil companies and the World Bank and signed into law by President Idriss Déby Itno in 1999, pledged that 80 percent of its oil revenue would go to social development in education, health, agriculture and infrastructure, and another 10 percent would be kept in a “future generations” fund.
The agreement was seen as an aspirational example, in which the oil companies could enhance the security of their drilling operations and the political stability of the country by ensuring that oil revenue would help to raise the living standards of Chad’s impoverished citizens.
But the pledge was not honored. During Mr. Tillerson’s tenure as C.E.O. in 2008, the World Bank decided to shut down the program that had helped finance the African pipeline, after a report found that much of the money had been wasted and embezzled. Full story