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Cast of characters Abdullah Taha Bakhsh – Wealthy Saudi Arabian business man; owner of Traco International and Atherstone International, major shareholders in Harken; represented on Harken’s board by Talat Othman. Sid and Lee Bass Heirs to the foriune of Fort Worth oil man Perry Richardson Bass; founders of Bass Enterprises Production Co., the group funding Harken’s oil exploration in Bahrain. George W. Bush Son of President George Bush; managing general partner of the Texas Rangers baseball club; Harken director and $50,000-a-year consultant, David Edwards Little Rock investment banker; middle man in negotiating Harken’s deal with Bahrain. Mikel D. Faulkner – President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Harken Energy Corp.; director of Frontier Oil and Refining Co. Wilfred Gregory Co-administrator of Nugan Hand’s Philippine office; client of Manila lawyer William Quasha. Michael Jon Hand “Bronx-born Green Beret war hero, CIA operative, vice-chairman and half owner of the [Nugan Hand] bank, pal of dope-dealers and of retired and not-so-retired military-intelligence officials; now one of the world’s most wanted men,” according to The Crimes of Patriots, which was published in 1987. Maurice Bernard “Bernie” Houghton Secretive Texan and camp follower of America’s Asian wars; described in The Crimes of Patriots as “The mysterious puppetmaster of Nugan Hand.” Gen. LeRoy J. Manor – Chief of staff for U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. liaison to Philippine President Marcos; ran Nugan Hand’s Manila office; client of Philippines lawyer William Quasha; later assigned to investigate failed hostage rescue mission in Iran in 1980. Francis “Frank” John Nugan – Son of an Australian fruitpacker; chairman and half-owner of Nugan Hand Bank; found shot to death in his car in 1980. Talat M. Othman – Palestinian-American businessman and Harken director; representative of Abdullah 13aklish. Alan Grant Quasha Son of Philippines lawyer William Quasha; partner in the New York law firm of Quasha Wessely & Schneider, \(which, over the past three years, has provided over $1.1 million in le February 1991 currently a Harken director; also a director of North chairman of Frontier Holdings Inc. William Howard Quasha Philippines lawyer; father of Alan Quasha; in 1980, counsel to Gen. Manor and Wilfred Gregory. Anton Rupert — South African tobacco, liquor and natural resources tycoon; head of Rembrandt Group of companies; partner, with Quasha’s family, in North American Resources Ltd., a major shareholder in Harken; head of Frontier Oil and Refining Co.; member of South Africa’s Broederbond, or “band of brothers,” a secret society of white male Calvinist Afrikaners, according to Fortune magazine; widely regarded as one of South Africa’s “most enlightened” Afrikaner businessmen. Bass Fishing in Bahrain Following the collapse of world oil prices in 1986, Bush merged his Midland oil company, Spectrum 7 Exploration, with Harken. According to a 1989 article in The New Republic, Bush “got no cash or role in Harken’s management, but he did get 1.5 million shares of Harken restricted stock, warrants to buy 200,000 more, and a seat on Harken’s board.” At the time of the merger, Harken had annual revenues of just $4.4 million. In 1990, the company took in over $822 million. Despite this rapid growth, however, Harken has not made money since the merger. In 1990 alone, the company lost over $8.3 million. As a result of its deal with Bahrain, however, Harken’s fortunes could change. Although the only other oil-exploration effort off the shore of Bahrain came up dry in 1961, Harken officials believe the area holds vast potential. In 1989, Bahrain’s one producing onshore oil field yielded 42,000 barrels a day. The country’s estimated underground reserves for 1990 totaled 112million barrels out of the 660-billion barrels in the entire Persian Gulf region. “It’s a wildcat prospect, so you have to give it a low probability of success,” Faulkner told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram last month, “but it’s the kind of thing that, if it hits, could make a tenfold increase in the value of the company.” Under the terms of the agreement with Bahrain, Harken will drill up to six exploratory wells over a three-year period. If Harken finds oil, it will share the production revenues with the government of Bahrain for the next 35 years. Neither Harken nor the Bahraini government will disclose how those revenues would be divided. COURTESY OIL & GAS JOURNAL Harken estimates the cost of drilling the first well will run between $12 million and $13 million. Analysts say the cost of drilling six wells could range as high as $50 million. For cashstrapped Harken, these costs presented a formi dable obstacle. Once the deal with Bahrain was signed, therefore, Harken began looking for deep-pocketed partners to fund the project. At least 30 eligible suitors soon camp forward, including five major oil companies. Harken eventually settled on Bass Enterprises Production Co., the oil and gas exploration and development arm of Fort Worth’s billionaire Bass family. Bass Enterprises is headed by Sid and Lee Bass, sons of oil tycoon Perry Richardson Bass. In July 1990, Harken announced that Bass Enterprises would fund the first three exploratory wells in Bahrain. After drilling the three initial wells, Bass may withdraw from the project, but would forfeit all rights to any revenues from oil production. If Bass funds an additional three wells, however, it will earn a 50-percent share of the profits Harken receives as part of its agreement with Bahrain. Current plans call for drilling to begin in the fall. George W. Bush and the Bass brothers are not the only children of prominent parents involved in Harken. Harken director and former chairman Alan G. Quasha is the son of powerful Philip pines lawyer William H. Quasha. Published ac counts have documented connections between the senior Quasha and Australia’s infamous Nugan Hand Bank. Official Australian govern ment investigations during the late 1970s and early 1980s revealed Nugarilland’s involvement in drug money laundering and ties to the U.S. military and intelligence community. Nugan Hand co-owner and vice-chairman, Michael Jon Hand, a Green Beret war hero and CIA opera tive, was also a “pal of dope-dealers and of re THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13