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THE BLOOD OF THE EARTH: an oil and gas bonanza in Morocco? – Dollars, power and terrorism

“HET BLOED DER AARDE: een olie- en gasbonanza in Marokko? – Dollars, macht en terreur”

(“THE BLOOD OF THE EARTH: an oil and gas bonanza in Morocco? – Dollars, power and terrorism”)

by Gé Boorman

A former Shell employee ran into an incredible story about an oil and gas field in Morocco. Five years ago he approached the owner of a small American oil company, Mike Gustin, for possible participation in the development of the field. Mike told him that a combination of Saudis accused of sponsoring Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 suicide pilots, in combination with the Moroccan royal family was trying to squeeze him out of his discovery and his exploration licences.  Checks in the Moroccan, American, Spanish and oil and gas press revealed an even more unlikely, but apparently true story. Friends of the author suggested writing a book about it and so he did – for good reasons under pseudonym.  It is available in the bookshops from early March.

A Texan wildcatter, Mike Gustin, acquired several exploration licences in Morocco, assisted by two cousins and a friend of the present king. They received a carried 12% interest in the deal for their help. A new “magic” magnetic exploration method revealed many anomalies; several were confirmed by seismic. The new king became most interested and received Mike and his business partner twice in his palace. In the year 2000, the first well hit gas and oil, but money ran out. Mysterious investors, unknown to Mike and his partner but known to the king, put in an equivalent to the $27 million that the Americans had already invested so far, for half of the remaining interest of 88%. Then, things did not go the way everybody had hoped and the new partners made themselves known: the ambassador of Saudi-Arabia in Washington with the nickname “Bandar Bush” and the third-richest Saudi, sheikh Saleh Abdellah Kamel and his son, owners of (amongst others) “Al Jazeera”. With the help of the Moroccan royal family they started pushing the Americans out of their licences and their discovery.

Without knowing this background, three very experienced, retired Shell E & P experts who appear under their own names, were asked to evaluate the discovery and the licences for the opponents of the Americans. An experienced British/Dutch operations manager took care of the operational aspects on the American side. Several Dutch companies got involved in the seismic and drilling operations. The three Shell men worked professionally and in good faith, but were most surprised to meet Robert L. Shapiro – the lawyer who kept O. J. Simpson out of jail – speaking for the Americans at a meeting with contractors who had not been paid. They got involved in an incredible series of events that even writers of a soap series could not have imagined.

After 9/11, it turned out that the three Saudis were all accused of contributing to the suicide pilots, Al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden; sheikh Saleh’s name even figures on the list of initial contributors to Al Qaeda.  For Mike Gustin, a dream turned into a nightmare …

From these ingredients a fascinating story developed, with the Moroccan king figuring in a most bizarre role.

The  book has been published in Dutch by Uitgeverij Aspekt and costs €18.95.

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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