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Regarding Haiti's Oil Reserves

In 1975 we bathed in the waters of Les Cayes and noticed that our feet was covered by a sort of black oil seeping from the seabed. A fisherman from the place explained that this was not uncommon in the area.

He reports similar phenomena in other regions of Haiti - it seems so in the plains of Leogane and at the foothills of Morne-à-Cabrit. It's also been reported that there is the presence of oil shale in the province of Grand Anse.

There are still many places on our island (Haiti and Dominican Republic) that meet all the geological criteria for the presence of hydrocarbons. In Haiti, include the plains of Cayes, the plain of Leogane, the plain of Cul-de-Sac, the Gonaives plain and the deserted Savannah, the Plaine du Nord. Ile de la Gonave and corresponding coastlines to the off-shore deposits. In this list, do not forget the large sedimentary basin of the Central Plateau of Haiti.

In the course of the 1950s, the Knappen-Tippen-Abbet company (nicknamed by the local people "the company for small bread and butter") conducted drillings in La Gonave, in the Cul-de-Sac plains, in the Plateau-Central and in the region of Gonaives. All of these drillings had proved extremely promising and the results were beyond expectations. However, the big multinational oil companies operating in Haiti pushed for the discovered deposits not to be exploited. Haiti was neither Saudi Arabia nor Kuwait. At a time when a barrel of crude oil sold for just over a dollar, and the Persian Gulf provided oil galore, there was no reason for these companies to put in production these oil fields deemed much less profitable. Especially while ARAMCO [then known as the Arabian American Oil Company] was, rain or shine in Arabia, at a low price, even to the point of looting the precious oil resources of this kingdom.

[The attitude of these big multinational oil companies was] "We shall keep the Haitian deposits and other such layers of deposits in reserve for the 21st century when the Middle Eastern jackpot are depleted." This is what happened! The wells of Knappen-Tippen-Abbet were numbered, carefully locked or sealed with cement and forgotten.

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