Universal Petroleum or just UP, is a large Texas-based petrochemical corporation.
Before the beginning of the game, UP had already been extracting Venezuela's oil supply when your character is introduced in Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. They are well-established in-country and do not take well to any efforts to cut in on or put an end to their oil profits. When Solano comes to power, Universal Petroleum is forced to defend their oil fields and assets from both Solano's "nationalization" and the Guerillas' campaign to cast them out of the country. Both faction's goals threaten to be extremely costly for Universal Petroleum if they get anywhere, and UP executives would rather spend lavish amounts of money defending their assets in Venezuela and returning the situation to the previous status quo than see either Ramon Solano or the Guerillas' campaigns succeed. Furthermore, the chaos caused by Solano's seizure of power and the fighting for control of the country between multiple groups has created a perfect environment for piracy; Universal Petroleum is a very obviously wealthy company, and a natural target for organized criminals seeking a profit. For these reasons, UP has hired the services of mercenaries from Tactical Solutions Inc.
UP is headed by Dr. Lorraine Rubin, who has one goal in Venezuela: "Keep the oil flowing". Universal Petroleum controls most of the tankers and oil rigs on Lake Maracaibo, and Tactical Solutions soldiers patrol the areas around them with extreme vigilance. They are also seen patrolling the UP refinery but seem to be fighting a tug-of-war with the VZ forces nearby. Their boats can be seen around the northern area of the map, on the sea that separates the mainland with the islands controlled by the Balseros Crew, it's common to see UP and Pirates fighting there.
Being an American-based oil company, Universal Petroleum is antagonistic to Solano's desire to nationalize Venezuela's oil reserves. They already employ a small army of mercenaries to defend their assets in Venezuela, and thus have no problem whatsoever bringing on one more mercenary to do work on their behalf. When the conflict in Venezuela escalates and the Allied Nations and the People's Republic of China arrive, Universal Petroleum receives aid and protection from the AN while the PRC sides with the pro-communist Guerrillas. Universal Petroleum succeeds in its aims in Venezuela if the player sides with them and then the AN, or fails if the player sides with the Guerrillas and the Chinese.
The UP HeadquartersEdit
UP's HQ is easily one of the tallest buildings in Venezuela. This jet-black monolith can be seen as far away as the Pirate HQ. Prior to the invasion of Venezuela by the AN and the Chinese, Dr. Lorraine Rubin can be found here to offer 2 contracts. The HQ is surrounded by guard towers with troops, several Raven SUV assault units, and rocket infantry. If the player sides with the Chinese, one of their missions involve destroying UP's headquarters. Doing this will immediately destroy the player's positive relationship with UP (can be bribed or kill PLAV troops until they are friendly). To deter such an attack, AN troops, tanks, APCs, AN rocket troops, and helicopters patrol Maracaibo alongside the full bulk of Tactical Solutions Incorporated's arsenal.
According to Fiona, Universal Petroleum tricked the pre-Solano government into giving them exclusive access to their oil, and returning a "ridiculously small cut" as reimbursement.
During a mission where the player must help protect David Espinoza as he burns some documents, it's revealed that they were evidence that proved UP's scam against the Venezuelans. David states that they were able to make the Venezuelans pay the UP for their own oil which the UP was drilling for. Small oil rigs can be found all over Venezuela. There can also be some solitary drilling platforms can be found around the outskirts of the UP refinery.
- Dr. Lorraine Rubin - CEO
- David Espinoza - CFO
- Victor Contreras - Marketing Executive
- Drew Marlowe - Oil Depot Manager
- Jim Wahlquist - Militia Commander
- Ali Zandi - Militia Commander
- Sean McKinney - Militia Commander
- Jester 5 - Helicopter pilot
- Ewan Devlin - (former) Helicopter pilot
Tactical Solutions Incorporated Edit
Main Article: Tactical Solutions Incorporated
Tactical Solutions Incorporated is a Texas-based mercenary company hired by UP to protect their operations and assets in Venezuela. Which can seem fairly obvious from the southern drawl in their voices, yet since they're NPCs they don't have a great deal of lines.
- UP regulars: The most common soldiers are seen carrying a Carbine, the "Flat-Top" M4 Assault Rifles, and are most identifiable by their sunglasses and backwards Baseball caps as well as Delta Force-Style Helmets w/ goggles (and ponytails), they have "short Vests" and have no shoulder lights; they usually will have one or two holstered handguns on their hips which they never use, and usually have kneepads or shin guards and sometimes both.
- Heavy troops: carry Light Machine Guns and look very similar to the regular troops.
- Rocket Troops: carry RPGs or Grenade-Launchers and a Pistol (sig variant) which they switch to for close quarter combat.
- Scouts: wear a balaclava and goggles, carry with Carbines or Russian Sniper Rifles, and some have been seen with short vests and long vests, as well as rolled up or not rolled up sleeves and do not carry any holstered weapons; instead they usually have a pouch on their hip.
- Drew Marlowe: a UP HVT with the Drew Marlowe skin from the UP Supply Depot outpost shop. Same armament as a UP regular but has more health.
- Mantis Light Tank Crews: they carry a Pistol in case they need to defend themselves when their tank goes on fire, and thus are one of the most vulnerable infantry type in the game; aside from the Chinese who are the hardest to hijack, they are seen with the heavy soldier outfits, except they wear Jet-Black tanker helmets w/ goggles, these have scratch marks that white keeping the U.P. colors alive; one has a balaclava and goggles w/ the helmet, while the Ponytail guy and non-Ponytail *short mustache* guy (all the soldiers have distinctive voices) have just the helmets w/ the goggles.
Allies: Allied Nations
- Universal Petroleum can, in a certain way, be considered World in Flames' counterpart to the South Korean Union from Playground of Destruction. Both are Western-aligned factions and both are actually comprised of two sub-factions: The South Koreans consisted of the Republic of Korea Army and the CIA, while Universal Petroleum consists of the actual Universal Petroleum Corporation and the Tactical Solutions Incorporated mercenary company.
- The real life version of UP could be based on British Petroleum, and their mercenaries could be based on Blackwater.