Posted on June 30th, 2008 at 9:53 am by Steve
The New York Times, June 19, 2008:
Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power. Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields.The New York Times, June 30, 2008:
A group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and five major Western oil companies to develop some of the largest fields in Iraq, American officials say. The disclosure, coming on the eve of the contracts’ announcement, is the first confirmation of direct involvement by the Bush administration in deals to open Iraq’s oil to commercial development and is likely to stoke criticism... At a time of spiraling oil prices, the no-bid contracts, in a country with some of the world’s largest untapped fields and potential for vast profits, are a rare prize to the industry... A potential area of criticism, however, is that only Western companies got the bigger oil contracts. In particular, Russian companies that have experience in Iraq and had sought development contracts are still waiting.British Prime Minister Tony Blair, February 6, 2003:
No, let me just deal with the oil thing because this is one of the... we may be right or we may be wrong, I mean people have their different views about why we're doing this thing. But the oil conspiracy theory is honestly one of the most absurd when you analyse it. The fact is that, if the oil that Iraq has were our concern I mean we could probably cut a deal with Saddam tomorrow in relation to the oil. It's not the oil that is the issue, it is the weapons.