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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Iraq Oil: The Vultures are Waiting

by Sarah Meyer
Index Research
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This article first published on 3/9/07
Updated to 11.11.09.

The oil majors met at the Iraq Oil, Gas, Petrochemical & Electricity Summit from 2 - 4 September 2007 in Dubai to discuss "the future of Iraq's abundant energy resources." Attending were US puppets, described as “some of the most important figures from Iraq’s energy sector.” Also attending were the waiting vultures, BP, Exxon, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Lukoil, Statoil, Marathon Oil, Total, Shell, Kuwait National Petroleum, Annadarko, Schlumberger, ABB, ONGC, General Electric, Cummins Power, Mitsui, Aegis, ArmorGroup, Janussian, Control Risks Group, Unity, Hart, Olive Security, GardaWorld and Triple Canopy.

The history of the Iraq Oil law is sordid. An outstanding article by A.K. Gupta, The Great Iraq Heist, outlines the US imperial ownership of Iraq via Bush Executive orders, through his Arch-Deacon-of Hades, Paul Bremer.

Paul Bremer (right) with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Baghdad. PHOTO: Jason Reed / AP-Pool / AP

Since March 2003, a series of executive orders by Bush, UN documents, and regulations and orders issued by Iraqi Proconsol Paul Bremer have put the U.S. in absolute control of the state of Iraq, its oil industry and monies, all while lifting barriers to repatriating profits . …

On the same day UN resolution 1483 passed, May 22, Bush signed Executive Order 13303 granting blanket immunity to any U.S. corporation dealing with Iraqi oil through 2007 . Researcher Jim Vallette, who stumbled across the order in the Federal Register, says it “unilaterally declares Iraqi oil to be the unassailable province of U.S. corporations.... In other words, if ExxonMobil or ChevronTexaco touch Iraqi oil, it will be immune from legal proceedings in the United States.” …

So in a little more than two months the Bush administration staked claim to and received UN approval to every significant asset and resource Iraq has in the world, established sole power over how to spend Iraq’s oil money, and indemnifies its corporate cronies from liability.

One can thus see the urgency emanating from the White House concerning “Benchmarks” – resulting in ‘troop surge,’ an Allawi (?) coup, and various “reports” on the ‘situation in Iraq, all differing but the main thrust being failure.

Index Research started documenting these developments, first in March 2006, in PNAC: Rebuilding America's Defenses - A Biopsy on Imperialism; Part II: "Special Interests" - The Persian Gulf (07.03.06) . This included the vitally important Platform document by Greg Muttitt, Crude Designs.

From this period on, mainstream media had no excuse to represent the “sharing” Iraq oil agreement without also demonstrating that Iraq actually had NO ‘share’ in her own oil. However, this omission is exactly what happened - and frequently continues to happen.

Index Research continued to document the daily Iraq oil crisis as the situation became more acute in The Iraq Oil Crunch: Index Timeline , which tracks the drama through 12 May 2007.

The Iraqi parliament is said to be meeting again, after a month’s recess, on Tuesday.

Appendix ONE follows the development of the oil crisis from 12 May until the present moment, with oil companies and the US government waiting for the kill. This desperate country, destroyed by the US government with the help of "the coalition of the willing" deserves its own oil. Now.


Leading Iraqi Labor Leaders to Tour U.S. During their visit, they will address members of Congress, labor audiences and the general public about the impact the U.S. occupation has had on the labor movement and daily lives of working people in Iraq. They will speak about reconstruction and will explain why the labor movement is opposed to the proposed hydrocarbon law favored by the Bush administration and oil corporations which would put foreign oil corporations in effective control of 2/3 of Iraq's undeveloped oil reserves. They will also describe the likely consequences if the occupation continues, what might occur if it abruptly ends and prospects for a stable, democratic, non-sectarian future for Iraq.
Their tour is cosponsored by U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW), United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
Washington, DC: June 4-7
Los Angeles: June 7-10
San Jose, Santa Cruz: June 10
Berkeley/San Francisco: June 11-12
Boston: June 13-15
New York City: June 16-19
Philadelphia: June 19
Chicago/Milwaukee: June 20-23
Washington, DC: June 24-26
Atlanta: June 27-28

Iraqi Oil Workers address US Congress
Iraq occupation Focus No. 69. ‘Hasan Jum’a Awwad, Head of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, has urged Congress “not to link withdrawal with the oil law”. In an Open Letter, he wrote: “Everyone knows that the oil law does not serve the Iraqi people, and that it serves Bush, his supporters and the foreign companies at the expense of the Iraqi people who have been wronged and deprived of their right to their oil despite enduring all difficulties. The general public in Iraq is totally convinced that Bush wants to rush the promulgation of the oil law so as to be leaving Iraq with a victory of sorts, because his project is failing every day and the occupation is collapsing in all parts of Iraq.” ‘

Iraqis resist U.S. pressure to enact oil law
13.05.07. LA Times. It has not even reached parliament, but the oil law that U.S. officials call vital to ending Iraq's civil war is in serious trouble among Iraqi lawmakers, many of whom see it as a sloppy document rushed forward to satisfy Washington's clock.

US Imperial Ambitions Thwart Iraqi’s Peace Plans
12.05.07. J. Holland, Alternet. Iraq’s resistance groups have offered a series of peace plans that might put an end tohe country’s sectarian violence, but they’ve been ignored by the U.S.-led coalition because they’re opposed to foreign occupation and privatization of oil.

Petition. Oppose the Theft of Iraq’s Oil.
The Iraqi Parliament will soon vote on a US-backed law that could hand too much oil revenue and control to foreign corporations. The Iraqi Parliament will soon vote on a US-backed law that could hand too much oil revenue and control to foreign corporations. A Sunni, Shia and Kurd Parliamentarian are planning to stand together and present this petition to the Iraqi Parliament. They want us to help them show that the world supports Iraq's right to its own oil and its own future. Sign petition to help reach 100,000 signatures before they present it.

Kucinich to Speak for Full Hour on House Floor on Iraq Oil Law -- Watch C-Span
23.05.07. David Swanson, Op Ed. This will be the first time in Congress that there has been a full discussion of the covert efforts to accomplish privatization of Iraq's oil through the supplemental spending bill.

Video. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich: "Privatizing Iraq's Oil is Theft!" 7 Min. Rep. Kucinich explained how the proposed Bill, now pending before the U.S. Congress, via its benchmarks, will provide for the privatization of Iraqi oil. It requires the regime in Iraq to pass a law called, "The Hydrocarbon Act." If they refuse to do so over a billion dollars in reconstruction funds will be blocked by the Bush-Cheney administration, he claimed. - Unless the scheme is stopped, Rep. Kucinich predicted, we will be looking at an Iraqi War "going on forever!"

Deadline looms on unseettled oil issue
25.05.07. Washington Times.

Curse of Oil and Iraq’s Disintegration
25.05.07. Dr. Mustafa Alani, Arab News/uruknet. ...During the last four years, news about the escalating violence in Iraq has dominated media headlines across the world. Media reports have been full of the news of violence in the by now well-known hotspots like Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi, and Diyala. However, there is very little news about the violence endured by Iraqi people living in other regions and cities of the country. The daily violent struggle in the two oil-rich cities of Kirkuk and ! Basra has a special meaning for Iraqi people and is of significance for the state (...) Basra has been effectively out of the central government’s control since the invasion of the country, and it is unlikely that government’s authority can be restored in the near future. The Baghdad government is paralyzed, and unable or unwilling to stop the sectarian "cleansing" in Basra, or the ongoing fight for control of the province and its resources. The rival Shiite political groups, small and big — many depending on support coming from across the international borders — are working hard to secure some formula that could guarantee a partial or complete separation of Basra from the rest of the state. A de-facto separation is now in existence, which means that Basra and its oil wealth are at the mercy of ambitious and ruthless local warlords who have no consideration for or attachment to the country or its national interests...

What Congress Really Approved: Benchmark No. 1: Privatizing Iraq's Oil for US Companies
26.05.07. Ann Wright, Truth out. Retired Army Colonel Ann Wright says the supplemental bill Congress passed to continue funding the Iraq war is really about "stealing Iraq's oil - the second largest reserves in the world. The "benchmark," or goal, the Bush administration has been working on furiously since the US invaded Iraq is privatization of Iraq's oil. Now they have Congress blackmailing the Iraqi Parliament and the Iraqi people: no privatization of Iraqi oil, no reconstruction funds."

“On Thursday, May 24, the US Congress voted to continue the war in Iraq. The members called it "supporting the troops." I call it stealing Iraq's oil - the second largest reserves in the world. The "benchmark," or goal, the Bush administration has been working on furiously since the US invaded Iraq is privatization of Iraq's oil. Now they have Congress blackmailing the Iraqi Parliament and the Iraqi people: no privatization of Iraqi oil, no reconstruction funds.”

When Oil and Water Mix
26.05.07. Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, ICH. ‘ America's relentless drive to dominate the Middle East and its oil, blends well with Israel's insatiable appetite for water and unstoppable expansion. It is said that oil and water do not mix - but when they do, it becomes a lethal concoction with no easy solution. The fatal blend engulfing the Middle East today seems to have no end in sight other than darker clouds showering more innocent blood.’

JUNE 2007

Was Iraq invaded to boost oil prices? Value of Exxon reserves rose by $666bn
01.06.07. S. Ross, ICH blog.

Iraqi Oil Workers On Strike
04.06.07. Downing Workers began the strike at 6.30 this morning by shutting two 14" pipelines carrying oil and gas products inside Iraq.

Congressman Kucinich to Receive Statement By Iraqi Oil Workers Union
05.06.07. Common Dreams. U.S. Government's Role in Privatizing Iraqi

Iraqi Oil Ministry Hopes To Have Oil Law Signed Within 1 Month
05.06.07. Reuters. The Iraqi government said Tuesday it hopes the country's hydrocarbons law will be signed soon

Oil Strikers Met by Iraqi Troops
07.06.07. UPI / Truthout. On the third day of an oil strike in southern Iraq, the Iraqi military surrounded oil workers and the prime minister issued arrest warrants for the union leaders, sparking an outcry from supporters and international unions.

Iraqis to U.S. Congress: Back off oil law
08.06.07. Earthtimes. WASHINGTON, June 8 Iraqi union leaders met with a U.S. congressman they say is their biggest friend in Washington, urging a united front against Iraq's draft oil law.

Faleh Abood Umara, general secretary of the Iraq Federation of Oil Unions, and Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, president of the Electrical Utility Workers Union, called the proposed law a theft of Iraq's oil.

U.S. Ignorant of Iraq Oil Law
15.06.07. B. Lando, Monsters and Critics.

Nobel Laureates Condemn Iraq Oil Law. US.
20.06.07. UPI. Six Nobel Peace Prize Laureates weighed in on the proposed Iraq oil law, worried Iraq's citizens will lose out, and urging the United States to back off.

Iraq oil law deadline approaches
20.06.07. ameinfo. The Iraq National Oil Company would have exclusive control of just 17 of Iraq's 80 known oil fields, leaving two thirds of yet to be exploited areas open potentially to foreign control.

Iraq parl't to sit longer to focus on key laws
23.06.07. Reuters. Iraq's parliament voted on Saturday to cut its summer holiday by a month to give lawmakers more time to pass a package of laws Washington views as key to fostering national reconciliation between Iraq's warring sects. The move is likely to be welcomed by the United States, although the draft laws have yet to be presented to parliament for debate. Analysts say the Shi'ite, Kurd and Sunni Arab political blocs have shown little willingness to compromise on key issues.

Six Nobel Peace Prize Recipients Oppose Iraq Oil Law
26.06.07. A. Juhasz, US Labor Against War. 'While the Bush administration has repeatedly claimed that the war in Iraq is not about oil, U.S. oil corporations are poised to take control over the 115 billion barrels of known oil reserves - 10 percent of the world total. The Bush administration's proposed new oil law for Iraq, set to go before Iraq's Parliament this month, would transform Iraq's oil industry from a nationalized model to a commercial model that is much more open to U.S. corporate control. Its provisions allow much (if not most) of Iraq's oil revenues to flow out of Iraq and into the pockets of international oil companies. At NWI's First International Conference women from the US and Iraq educated participants on the perils of this proposed law and the Nobel Peace Prize laureates signed the following statement. ...'

JULY 2007

Maliki’s government on verge of collapse
01.07.07. Kareem Zair, Azzaman / uruknet. The government of Nouri al-Maliki is not only losing its control of the country but also its role as a representative administration. .. The coalition holds 44 seats in the 275-member parliament.

Iraq takes step closer to landmark oil law
03.07.07. Reuters. Iraq's cabinet approved changes to a draft hydrocarbon law on Tuesday and sent it to parliament for immediate debate, taking a big step towards meeting a key political target set by the United States.

Sadr bloc joins Sunnis in rejecting Iraq oil law
05.07.07. AFP / aljazeera. Followers of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Thursday joined a growing chorus of Sunni Arab, Kurdish and Shiite opposition to a draft oil law backed by Washington.

Those So-Called Oil Contracts in Iraq
06.07.07. JEAN GERARD, Counterpunch. 'So-called "oil contracts" have been on the table of the Iraqi Parliament for months, and the fluff of lies printed about them in U..S. media is nauseating. Every report I have been able to find in the general media has been long on inferences and short on facts. The result is that the average American knows nothing about them, and even those of us who try to follow important policy matters cannot find out more than the simple assertion that there are such things as Production Sharing Agreements, and that their signing is one of the "benchmarks" the US has put up as a requirement for our withdrawal of military forces.'

Iraqi lawmaker quits energy panel over oil law
07.07.07. Reuters. A member of Iraq's parliamentary energy committee quit on Saturday in protest over a draft oil law, which Washington hopes will [help ease] sic violence between Iraq's warring Shi'ite and Sunni Arabs.

Oil law to plunge country into more chaos
09.07.07. Saad Abbas, Azzaman/uruknet. Disappointment will be the only fruit that we are going to reap from the new oil law as we did from all other U.S.-sponsored 'milestones’. Instead of "a gift to all the Iraqi people" as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki described the draft oil law his government approved a few days ago, there are clear signals that the bill will turn into 'poison’ for Iraq as a nation. It is an oppressive bill that Maliki and his ministers signed and passed to parliament for approval.

Opposition to America's Oil Grab Is Unifying Iraqis
12.07.07. Alternet.
Video Iraq: Mixing Oil & BloodA controversial new Middle East oil law could lead to the "disintegration" of Iraq as a nation state. Two of the region's most respected commentators, including the co-author of the new Iraq Oil Law and a former oil minister, have each expressed their "gravest concern" at what they believe could happen within their country if the law is approved in its current form.


KBR Shares Hit New Highs on New Business.
13.07.07. AP / Forbes. Already last month, KBR was one of three companies awarded respective $5 billion contracts from the Army to provide food and shelter to U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. ... On the military side of the business, the U.S. Navy on Wednesday awarded KBR an $8.5 million contract boost for additional services for personnel at two Iraqi oil platforms. The company will perform the work in waters off the coast of Iraq through November 2007.

Bush's optimism is impossible to square with the situation in Iraq.
13.07.07. P. Cockburn, Independent. Oil pipelines are sabotaged by insurgents and punctured by thieves. "In just one stretch of pipeline between Baghdad and Baiji, we found 1,488 holes," the Oil Minister, Hussein Shahristani, told the Iraqi parliament, speaking of a importantpipe that brings oil product to the capital from Baiji refinery. He added: "It doesn't function as a pipeline... it's more like a sieve."

MPs want to put draft oil law to referendum.
14.07.07. Azzaman. Iraqi legislators opposing the new draft law for the exploration of oil and the distribution of oil revenues say its passage should be determined by the Iraqi people. ... The fields of Basra ( (where UK troops are) and Missan hold more than 65% of the country's proven reserves estimated at 115 billion barrels.

Benchmark Bogie: A guide to the stuggle over Iraq's Oil.
14.07.07. A. Juhatsz, Alternet. "The law would change Iraq's oil system from a nationalized model -- all but closed to U.S. oil companies -- to a privatized model open to foreign corporate control. At least two-thirds of Iraq's oil would be open to foreign oil companies under terms that they usually only dream about, including 30-year-long contracts. (For details of the law, see my March 2007 New York Times Op-Ed, "Whose Oil Is It, Anyway?") ... With few exceptions, the American press has adopted the adminstration's language and continually and virtually exclusively refers to the oil law as a revenue sharing measure -- ignoring completely the fact that Iraqis would only be able to share the revenues left over after the foreign oil companies received their very sizeable cut." (Ed: this sentence is also applicable to The Guardian-who should know better. In two recent articles, they have not mentioned the US 'cut" of Iraqi oil. .)

Fight for control: Iraq oil under pressure.
15.07.07. H. Steward, Observer. Long before coalition troops arrived in Iraq in 2003, anti-war campaigners warned that George Bush's real motive was to grab its oil reserves. While the violence continues to rage, workers in the devastated country's energy industry are warning that America and Britain are pressing Baghdad to hand over control of its oil industry to foreign multinationals.

Iraqi lawmaker quits energy panel over oil law.
16.07.07. US Labor Against War. Usama al-Nujeyfi told a small news conference that the proposal would cede too much control to global companies and "ruin the country's future". He vowed to work to defeat the draft in parliament.

Hundreds of Iraqis Protest Oil Law in Basra.
16.07.07. US Labor Against War. Basra, Iraq Today hundreds of Iraqis, led by the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU), took to the streets of Basra to demand that the Iraqi Parliament reject the proposed Oil Law. [1] Simultaneous demonstrations took place in Amara and Nassiryya. Local governate officials made statements in support of the demonstration and, along with the governor of Basra, have committed to sending letters to the Minister of Oil supporting the Union's demands. ...
Forbes described the demonstration as "Dozens of people demonstrated in the southern city of Basra ... " without mentioning the other demonstrations.

Iraq Kurd PM: Swift Oil Law Approval.. See also Bombs kill at least 85 in Kirkuk - Iraq police (16.07.07, Reuters).

US politicians unite on anger over Maliki.
17.07.07. MSNBC. "We have given them their opportunity," she (Mrs. Clinton) said. " They cannot expect to have any more of our aid [sic} unless they begin to do what they must do to take care of themselves. ... An interim US progress report on the war last week declared that Iraq was failing to make satisfactory progress towards a series of political goals, including a law to ensure fair {sic] distribution of oil revenues among rival factions. ... But with Iraqi lawmakers on vacation in August, the chances of a political breakthrough before September appear slim.

"Iraq oil law 'benchmark' likely to be missed, official says.
17,07.07. UPI. The (U.S.-made) benchmark for Iraq's government to pass an oil law is "unfortunate" and will likely be missed, a senior Iraqi official said. "The political environment here (in the United States) impinges directly" on what happens in Baghdad, especially talk of withdrawing troops, the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

Iraq's new coalition: the insurgents.
18.07.07, Seumas Milne, Guardian / uruknet. Seven of the most important Sunni-led insurgent organisations fighting the US occupation in Iraq have agreed to form a public political alliance with the aim of preparing for negotiations in advance of an American withdrawal, their leaders have told the Guardian. In their first interview with the western media since the US-British invasion of 2003, leaders of three of the insurgent groups - responsible for thousands of attacks against US and Ir! aqi armed forces and police - made clear that they would continue their armed resistance until all foreign troops were withdrawn from Iraq, and denounced al-Qaida for sectarian killings and suicide bombings against civilians (...) Leaders of the three groups - who did not use their real names in the interview - said the new front, which brings together all the main Sunni-based armed organisations except al-Qaida and the Ba'athists, has agreed the main planks of a joint political programme, including a commitment to free Iraq from all foreign troops, rejection of any cooperation with parties involved in the political institutions set up under the occupation, and a declaration that all decisions and agreements made by the US occupation and Iraqi government are null and void...

Iraq: Oil Workers Mount Protest in Basra.
20.07.07. infoshop. The executive bureau of Basra's trade unions organized a large demonstration on Monday, where hundreds of workers called for reconsidering the oil and gas law and the government's recent decision to increase fuel prices.

Iraq Unions Vow Mutiny over Oil Law.
20.07.07. UPI.

Iraqi PM urges parliament to cancel or limit summer break to pass laws seen as crucial by US.
21.07.07. Newspress.

Iraq Oil : Iraq's Ministry of Oil to receive training program from USTDA.
22.07.07. Portal Iraq. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is funding a $2.5 million multifaceted training program for the Iraqi Ministry of Oil that addresses the issues of management, technical/engineering and human resources development.

Resisting the plans to control Iraq's oil.
20.07.07. S. Assaf, trinicenter. Iraqi union leader Hassan Jumaa Awad recently visited Britain to raise awareness of the US's attempts to grab hold of his country's oil resources. The US wants to get it hands on Iraq's oil wealth and is pressuring the Iraqi government to pass a law that will mortgage the country's future, says Hassan Jumaa Awad, the leader of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions.

Iraq oil law stalled after break, MPs say.
23.07.07. Earthtimes. BAGHDAD, July 23 Two Iraqi parliamentarians say the controversial law governing Iraq's oil won't be voted on until at least after a planned August recess.

Hannah Arendt, in the Origins of Totalitarianism , points out that (fascist / totalitarian) governments frequently lie and then repeat the lies even when they have been exposed as false. With regard to the Iraq (Bremer) oil law, much of MSM have 1) not done their homework or 2) support the Bush spin, and thus keep repeating the false story: that the Iraq law "will divide oil revenues between the provinces." Following are some examples:

Secret Report: No Iraq Oil Deal by September.
21.07.07. Brian Ross, ABCNews. A confidential intelligence report prepared for U.S. officials this week concludes a key U.S. benchmark of progress in Iraq, a law to divide oil revenues equitably among the provinces (sic), "will not be agreed by September, even if cosmetic legislation is put in place."

Iraqi legislators can't take the heat.
06.08.07. Cynthia Tucker, Baltimore Sun. "I have made it clear to the prime minister and Iraq's other leaders that America's commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people - and the Iraqi people," he (Bush) said. / Since then, American officials have identified three of those so-called benchmarks as priorities: passing legislation to share oil proceeds among ethnic groups, including the Kurds.

Shahristani: Iraq oil unions not legit.
25.07.07. Earthtimes. Iraq's [US]oil minister said Iraq's oil unions are not legitimate and have no more standing in the debate over the oil law than an ordinary citizen.

Iraq: Oil and Gas Legislation, Revenue Sharing, and U.S. Policy.
(updated) 26.07.07. CRS Report

Iraq is a mass of contradictions; Oil is at the Center.
28.07.07. B. Lando, alternet.

Iraq parliament adjourns for summer recess without passing key laws.
30.07.07. The Jurist.

Iraq Oil Law in Limbo.
31.07.07. Herald sun /

Steel Workers Union Leader Writes Congress About Labor Rights and the Oil (theft) Law in Iraq.
31.07.07. The following letter was sent to Congressional and Senatorial leaders by Leo Gerard, President of the United Steel Workers union. This union also represents the oil industry workers in the U.S.

Iraq Oil Ministry: No Dealing with Unions.
31.07.07. B. Lando, alternet.


Pres. Sweeney's Letter to Prime Minister of Iraq About Labor Rights.
02.08.07. US labor against war. US Labor Against the War urges its affiliates, all labor organizations, and individual workers to let the government of Iraq know that the world is watching and will not allow them to continue violating labor rights of Iraqi union members with impunity. But we must also tell the U.S. Congress that its support for a "benchmark" calling for adoption of the Oil (theft) Law makes it an accomplice in this crime.

Good news from Baghdad at last: the oil law has stalled.
03.08.07. J. Steele, Guardian. The panic and distraction of the security crisis should not be used as cover for handing Iraq's wealth to foreigners. the administration - particularly the vice-president, Dick Cheney - and the oil lobby are enraged that the oil law is stalled. The main reason is not that the Iraqi government and parliament are a lazy bunch of Islamist incompetents or narrow-minded sectarians, as is often implied. MPs are studying the law more carefully, and have begun to see it as a major threat to Iraq's national interest regardless of people's religion or sect.

This is the second bit of good news from Iraq. Civil society, trade unions, professional oil experts and the media are stirring on the oil issue and putting their points across to parliament in the way democracy is meant to work. The oil unions have held strikes even at the risk of having leaders and members arrested.

Top Iraq MP: No Oil Law Under Occuptaion.
03.08.07. UPI.

Iraq's wealth in the balance.
04.08.07. Hussein Abdallah, Al-Ahram Weekly/uruknet. The present draft Iraq oil law is virtually guaranteed to betray the vital interests of Iraqis, writes Hussein Abdallah

Iraq [sic] imposes 'Saddam style' ban on oil union.
05.08.07. H. Stewart, Observer. 'This means the union has lost any negotiating rights as regards their terms and conditions, as well as in regard to discussions of the oil law,' said Sami Ramadani of Naftana, the UK-based support committee for the union, who is himself an exile from Saddam's regime. 'The union is definitely defying this, and it has the support of the workers: that's its strength.'

The struggle for Iraq's oil flares up as Kurds open doors to foreign investors.
07.08.07. Guardian. With the Bush administration pressing the Iraqi government to pass a new hydrocarbons law, there are widely voiced assumptions that it will bulldoze the oil industry into privatisation, and that foreign firms - meaning US ones - will unfairly reap the rewards. A survey published yesterday by a group of British and American NGOs suggested most Iraqis oppose plans to open the oilfields to foreign investment.

Iraq says no to oil theft.
07.08.07. John Hilary, uruknet. The population of Iraq want some say in how their country's oil reserves are developed. We must support them. Only two things seem to bridge the sectarian divide in today's Iraq. One is football, as shown in last week's celebrations among Sunnis, Shias and Kurds when the national team beat Saudi Arabia to win the Asian Cup. The other is oil - or, to be precise, how best to use Iraq's massive oil reserves in order to build some form of future prosperity on the ruins of occupation and civil war. / A unique public opinion survey has just been published which asked respondents from all sections of Iraqi society whether they feel the country's oil sector should be opened up to development by multinationals such as Shell, BP and Exxon, or kept under the control of Iraqi public sector companies instead. Eight in 10 believed that wise use of Iraq's oil could still provide some prosperity for them and their children in the future.

Iraqis oppose oil development plans, poll finds.
War on Want. Further setback for US / UK as Iraqis reject oil privatisation. 63% of poll respondents said they would prefer Iraq’s oil to be developed and produced by Iraqi public sector companies rather than foreign companies.

It's Time To Withdraw Iraq's Oil Law.
07.08.07. B Lando, Alternet. Iraq is a bloodbath. Why is Washington in such a hurry to get an oil law passed?

Iraq leadership in disarray as ministers quit Cabinet.
08.08.07. timesonline. Iraq leadership in disarray as ministers quit Cabinet. Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, is battling to survive a political crisis after losing almost half his Cabinet to boycotts and resignations after a spate of disputes over policy and performance. / In the latest blow, four secularist ministers who are loyal to Ayad Allawi, a former interim Iraqi leader, withdrew from Cabinet meetings, less than a week after the main Sunni bloc quit. Both groups blamed a failure by Mr al-Maliki to respond to demands for political reform.

Total and Chevron agree to work together in Iraq.
09.08.07. businesstimes. Two of the world’s biggest oil companies have signed an agreement to work together on projects in Iraq in the first clear sign that Western energy companies are preparing to enter the country.

Red Rag to US bull?
Iran, Iraq to build oil pipeline.
09.08.07 presstv.

Oil and occupation.
9-15,07, G. Nassar, The occupation of Iraq would give the US control over the Caspian Sea, the site of much of Iran's oil. It would enable the US to extend its influence from Darfur to West Africa and from East Timor to the Gulf, and perhaps even control China's oil needs. The US has a grand plan, and central to that plan is the protection of Israel's security. The latter has been one of Washington's top priorities for 60 years.

What Unites Iraqis: Blocking Western Petroleum Companies From Seizing Control of Their Oil.
09.08.07. J. Holland, Alternet. Despite ethnic bloodshed in Iraq majorities of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds are united in their disapproval of the oil laws that Washington and Big Oil are pushing.

Hundreds of experts discount Iraq Oil law.
09.08.07. UPI.

9[US-]IRAQ hopes to call open race for its oil in September.
09.08.07,. Reuters. ... Some analysts have said [Condi's]oil major ConocoPhillips, which holds 20% in Lucoil could help the Russian company receive the contract."

US and French Oil Conglomerates Share the Spoils of War.
10.08.07. David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, with an introduction by Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

Iraq experts: referendum on oil law.
10.08.07. UPI.

Howard warns Maliki: act or face pullout.
11.08.07. Sign [Bremmer} oil contract ... or else ...

The Iraq Oil Ministry: In the Service of the Oil Companies?.
11.08.07. R. Jacobs, Znet.

will UK troops leave when this is finished?
Al Basrah Oil Terminal Renovation Project Nears Completion
11.08.07. Grant Sattler, Gulf Region Division, blackanthem. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invested $67.5 million to rehabilitate the export facility 50 km offshore in the Arabian Gulf. Currently, one and a half million barrels of crude oil a day leave Iraq via tankers on-loading at ABOT. That volume is roughly half of the terminal loading capacity of 3 million barrels per day achieved with the upgrade./ Iraq’s economy is dominated by crude oil export accounting for 97 percent of the government’s revenue. The GRD has been working to improve the country’s ability to get its crude oil to world markets through renovation of key components of the oil infrastructure. The $1.7 billion effort has been funded by the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, but is only a fraction of the $8 billion needed, according to a Coalition Provisional Authority estimate./ Prior to renovation ABOT illustrated the condition of the entire Iraqi oil infrastructure. Designed and commissioned by Brown and Root in 1974, the 30-year-old technology was in serious disrepair from decades of under funding, lack of preventive maintenance, and war damage from the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War. ... Anderson said, “The Corps came out with [construction contractor] AFI and [Parsons Iraq Joint Venture] on Phase 1 to do a refurbishment of the loading arms and the rigging. The functional part of the arms weren’t in real good shape.” In fact, an April 2003 assessment found the loading arms to be operating at only a quarter of their design rate and leaking excessively.

Cheney, Putin, and the Battle for Iraqi Oil
13.08.07. Jonathan Cutler, uruknet. ---If the US invasion of Iraq was motivated, in part, by the desire to prevent Russia from winning access to Iraqi oil after the collapse of UN sanctions, then Cheney is being well served by his Shiite friends in Iraq. I first made that argument in an April 2007 post entitled, "The US-Russian War in Iraq" in which I suggested that the details of the draft hydrocarbons law tended to leave Russian-backed companies–especially Lukoil–out in the cold. Last we! ek, Sistani-backed oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani confirmed Russian fears. In meetings with Shahristani, Russia sought to use the promise of debt relief to win better terms for Lukoil. According to Kommersant, that plan to make debt relief conditional appears to have crumbled...

The Bipartisan Guarantee of More War in Iraq
15.08.07. Chris Floyd, ICH. 'We invaded your country. We occupied your country. We wrote your constitution, in which the arbitrary decrees of our colonial viceroy were imposed as fundamental law. We looted your money. We armed your sectarians. And we are going to keep a large number of troops in your country, come what may. But we aren't going to baby-sit you anymore. No, if you don't get your act together -- and sign the goddamned Oil Law already -- we are just going to withdraw to our permanent bases and watch you kill each other. -- That is the sum total of the leading Democratic candidate's position on Iraq.'

Prominent Iraqis criticise oil law
15.08.07. Ahmed Janabi, aljazeera. A statement, signed by 419 Iraqi oil experts, economists and intellectuals, expresses grave concern that the newly proposed law would deprive Iraq from its most vital resource, oil and give foreign companies domination over Iraq's wealth.

Iraq oil law up in Sept., official says
16.08.07. eathtimes. WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 A top official in the Iraqi Embassy in Washington expects the oil law to top Parliament's agenda when lawmakers return to session at the start of next month.

Tomgram: Michael Klare, Tough Oil on Tap
16.08.07. Tomgram / Michael Klare. The New Energy Pessimism; On Tap: The Tough-Oil Era ; A Demanding World ; The Missing Trillions.

Iraq gov't summit won't discuss oil law
17.08.07. eathtimes. "The summit will not discuss the oil and gas draft laws and the deBaathification law," he said.
Both laws are prickly in Iraq's fragile and terse political climate. Various factions can't agree on how much access foreign and private companies should have to Iraq's reserves, as well as how strong the central, regional and local governments should be in deciding how the reserves are explored, developed and produced.

Iraq delegation to Syria to talk about oil
17.08.07. earthtimes. "Talks with the Syrian side will concentrate on discussing the security and oil fields and activating former agreements in the security and economic fields, as well as the Syrian desire to import crude oil from Iraq," Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani told the Voices of Iraq news agency. "The talks will also address fixing the oil pipeline between Iraq and Syria, which needs maintenance and protection."

Sesktak Warns Iraqi Oil Law Contains ‘Undue Ability Of U.S. Oil Companies To Control Iraqi Profits’
18.08.07. with video & transcript

Why Iraqis oppose U.S.-backed oil law
19.08.07. David Bacon, sfgate. Workers think foreign firms will take over ’ Across the political spectrum in Washington, members of Congress are now demanding that the Iraqi government meet certain benchmarks, which presumably would show that it's really in charge. But there's a big problem with the most important benchmark: the oil law. It is extremely unpopular in Iraq.

Oil giants rush to lay claim to Iraq
20.08.07. The world’s oil majors will descend on two key conferences about Iraqi oil next month, seizing their last chance to jockey for position before the expected passing of the country’s hydrocarbon law sets off a scramble for its vast energy resources. .. All the big players will be there, including BP, Shell, Exxon and Chevron, as well as minnows such as Addax Petroleum, some of which have operations in Iraq. David Horgan, Managing Director of Petrel Resources, an Irish explorer with a presence in Iraq since 1999, said: “All the oil companies have been salivating at the prospect of Iraq for years.

Western oil group eyes assets in Iraq
23.08.07. NBC/ A large western oil company has offered $700m for oil assets in Iraqi Kurdistan owned by DNO, the small Norwegian oil company. The offer signals that international oil companies are willing to put significant amounts of money into Iraq in spite of the security problems and lack of a legal framework. DNO refused to name the company, but industry executives speculated that Royal Dutch Shell was a possible bidder.

The Problem Isn't Mr. Maliki
24.08.07. The New York Times | Editorial. "His government's deep sectarian urges have also been evident in the continuing failure to enact legislation to fairly share (sic) oil revenues." NB: In spite of all the available information above, the NY Times still appear to remain ignorant of the oil problem in Iraq.


Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi discussed his country's counter-terrorism plan. Sept. 23, 2004.White House photo by Eric Draper

Former PM Allawi's front pulls out of Iraq government
24.08.07. DPA-uruknet. Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's Iraqi National List (INL) has withdrawn "finally" from Nuri al-Maliki's government, a leading INL member told independent Voices of Iraq (VOI) Friday. The Iraqi National List is a coalition of Iraqi political parties who ran in the December 2005 Iraqi elections and got eight percent of the vote and 25 out of 275 seats. ( not enough for US? .

So what do the US and Allawi do now?

Allawi Pays $300k for Anti-Maliki US Campaign
Documents obtained by IraqSlogger show Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki's chief Iraqi opponent, Ayad Allawi, is paying Washington lobbyists with close ties to the White House $300,000 to help with Allawi's efforts in the U.S. to promote himself and undermine Maliki. this was the plan all along. With Allawi in, the oil law can be passed and everyone but the Iraqi people are happy . A further story on Allawi, Allawi's Muscle: The CIA-Controlled Iraqi National Intelligence Service (25.08.07, Spencer Ackerman) can be read here .

"We are still in the early stages of our new operations.." Bush (25.08.07, AFP)

Is the U.S. government going to do a "Pinochet Purge" in Iraq?

Allawi's Muscle: The CIA-Controlled Iraqi National Intelligence Service
24.08.07. Alleged billion dollar thief Hazem Shaalan isn't Ayad Allawi's only infamous friend. Allawi is also a close ally of the head of Iraq's largest intelligence service -- a man who takes his billions from Washington, not Baghdad.

Allawi Lobby Contract Just One Among Many
25.08.07. Spencer Ackerman - TPM Muckraker / uruknet. "It's not just Barbour Griffith & Rogers, and it's not just Ayad Allawi. Ten different U.S. firms are registered through the Department of Justice's Foreign Agents Registration Act database as having active contracts with various Iraqi factions." The 10 firms are listed.

Bush, al-Maliki and the Press
27.08.07. A. DiMaggio, Counterpunch – ICH. Chronicle of a Coup Foretold? Consider the most recent example of disdain for Iraqi national sovereignty: the U.S. attempt to overthrow of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The attempted coup has been received rather well in slavish, sycophantic coverage throughout the American press. The axiom presented amongst U.S. political and media elites is lucid enough: the United States retains the "right" to impose any "necessary" changes in other countries' political and economic structures, all in the name of promoting the greater good. The greater good in this case? ˇ preventing civil war and societal meltdown.

Iraq Has No New Oil Law, and No Gas
27.08.07. While US officials on all sides criticize the Iraqi Parliament’s failure to pass an oil law, no one is asking a more critical question to the government’s local credibility and functionality, where is all the gas?

Is Allawi's Bloc Back in the Government?
28.08.07. After "Resignations," Three of Ex-PM's Five Ministers Attend Cabinet Meeting.

Analysts: Lobbyists Must Name Allawi's Backer
29.08.07. C. Davidson, DC Lobbying Firm's Initial Statements to Justice Dept. Inaccurate, Incomplete

Maliki: I won't resign, can't be forced out
29.08.07. McClatchy.

Shell And Dow Prepare $2.1 Billion Iraqi Petro
29.08.07. forbes. Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch Shell is reportedly in talks with Dow Chemical to develop an Iraqi petrochemical plant for $2.1 billion, in a likely attempt to gain a strong foothold prior to the hoped-for opening up of the country's broken oil industry. But analysts believe the project itself has little hope of being profitable.

Iraq's resources
29.08.07. IHT. Over the years the media (not the bloggers!) has been strangely silent concerning the commercial oil deals made in Iraq during the occupation. . Now the truth is evident as the United States pulls out all the stops to manipulate the Iraqi Parliament to pass an oil law in September that would give control of Iraqi oil to foreign interests, in particular, U.S. oil companies. . While the vast majority of those who opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq speculated that the real reason to invade had to do with control of Iraqi oil, they had no proof. . Over the years the media has been strangely silent concerning the commercial oil deals made in Iraq during the occupation. . Now the truth is evident as the United States pulls out all the stops to manipulate the Iraqi Parliament to pass an oil law in September that would give control of Iraqi oil to foreign interests, in particular, U.S. oil companies. . For decades, Iraqi oil was nationalized and the extraction/production was run by Iraqis. This new legislation gives much control of Iraq's vital natural resource to foreign oil companies, notably American ones closely associated with the Bush/Cheney administration. Wake up, Americans. Understand the real reasons behind this war. Stand up, Iraqis. Do not allow your government to give away your natural resources under foreign pressure.

Approval of Iraq's oil law in sight
29.08.07. reuters -

Why did Wikpedia vanish the al-Maliki's exile?
29.08.07. Mike McKinnon, The question for tonight is who edited Nouri al-Maliki's entry at Wikipedia? Recently, we learned that the CIA and Fox "News" were among those editing entries at Wikipedia. If you go to the Wikipedia entry for Nouri al-Maliki, you find something very interesting (...) Wikipedia offers a history archive of each page. I went back to 2006 when he was becoming prime minister and this was the topic listing then: 1 Early life 2 Exile 3 Return to Iraq 4 Pri! me Minister nomination 5 References 6 External links Do you see the second item? "2. Exile." It's followed by "3. Return to Iraq." What happened to those? They've been "disappeared."...

Behind Allawi's Bid for Power
29.08.07. NBC-newsweek. The former Iraqi prime minister speaks out on how he hired a well-connected Washington lobbying firm to help pave his attempt to oust the current government. Who’s footing the bill?

US-Allawi Coup May Be On Its Way
30.08.07. Arianna Huffington, HP – ICH.
As we all await the Petraeus Report on the state of the surge, we may also need to be anticipating the Allawi Coup.

Iraq leftists protest key oil bill
31.08.07. AFP. Dozens of Iraqis protested in central Baghdad on Saturday against the expected debate in parliament later this month of a draft oil law Washington deems a cornerstone of reconciliation efforts. The demonstration was called by left-wing groups opposed to moves to open up Iraq's oil and gas sector to Western firms in the same bill that aims to reassure Sunnis that earnings will be fairly shared among the country's divided communities.

Hassan Jumaa, President of Iraqi Federation of Oil Union. Hassan describes the Union's campaign against the proposed Hydrocarbon Law, which will see much of Iraq's oil wealth fall into the hands of foreign oil companies.


Some see 'coup' as Iraq's best hope
01.09.08. Chicago Tribune. Ex-premier Allawi building political bloc to challenge al-Maliki. In the lobbies of luxury hotels and the apartments of exiles, an assortment of Iraqi politicians has been spending the summer vacation plotting a new Iraqi coup - a non-violent, parliamentary coup to be sure, but a coup nonetheless, that would oust (US Puppet )Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, declare a state of emergency and install a new (”democratic?” ) government.

Oil firms to submit $1bn Iraq development plan
02.09.07. Reuters – Addax Petroleum and Genel Enerji expect to submit a $1 billion development plan within weeks to Iraq's Kurdish region for their joint venture TTopco's Taq Taq oilfield, a TTopco executive said Sunday. … The region had put new deals on hold while it waited for Baghdad to pass a controversial new federal oil law which stipulates who controls the world's third largest oil reserves and how revenue is distributed.

Iraq parliament faces storms over Baathists, oil law
02.09.07. AFP - Iraq's parliament reconvenes on Tuesday for what is expected to be a stormy session over allowing members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party back into positions of power and to tackle a key oil law. Bitterly-divided lawmakers return to the national assembly after a month-long holiday Washington had urged them not to take, just days ahead of a crucial progress report on Iraq to the US Congress. Washington sees resolution of the Baath party issue and the passage of the oil law as benchmarks to measure Iraq's progress towards political reconciliation that will eventually allow a withdrawal of US forces from the war-ravaged country...


Oil majors to meet with the Iraq government at leading summit in Dubai
15.08.07. The world's pre-eminent operators within the global oil, petrochemical, electricity and security sectors will descend on Dubai early next month for the forthcoming Iraq Oil, Gas, Petrochemical & Electricity Summit, the worlds first event organised to consider the future of Iraq’s abundant energy resources through direct consultation with the international private sector. The summit, which will take place in Dubai on 2-4 September ,The official Iraqi delegation will include some of the most important figures from Iraq’s energy sector, including Minister of Industry & Minerals HE Fawzi Al-Hariri, Minister of Electricity HE Kareem Wahid and KRG Minister of Oil HE Ashti Hawrami. It will also include Thamer Ghadbhan, a former oil minister and Chairman of the Iraq Oil Commission, Bahr Alolom, former oil minister and Chairman of the Official Summit Steering Committee, Mohamed Al-Waili, Governor of Basra and Abdulrahman Mustafa, Governor of Kirkuk, who will be headlining a special session on Iraq’s oil strategy and the key requirements for the sector. .. These best-in-breed operators and companies will be represented at board level in order to build the relationships that will be crucial to the future of the Iraqi energy sector and include the likes of BP, Exxon, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Lukoil, Statoil, Marathon Oil, Total, Shell, Kuwait National Petroleum, Annadarko, Schlumberger, ABB, ONGC, General Electric, Cummins Power, Mitsui, Aegis, ArmorGroup, Janussian, Control Risks Group, Unity, Hart, Olive Security, GardaWorld and Triple Canopy.

Lack of legal framework keeps oil investors out of Iraq
02.09.07. AP-IHT. Iraqi government officials and energy experts presented detailed plans for exploiting the wartorn country's vast petroleum wealth but admitted that the absence of a law regulating the industry is a bigger obstacle than security to attracting foreign investment. Government officials at the three-day "Iraq Oil, Gas, Petrochemicals and Electricity Summit" held in Dubai tempered their grandiose projects for exploiting the country's massive oil reserves by admitting that the vital, but contentious, law still needed to be passed. … "The majority of politicians are aware that we cannot go on without it," he said. "The oil law is the future [ruin] of Iraq." Despite being some of the largest in the world, Iraq's oil reserves are also some of the least exploited with the worst infrastructure — something Iraq [ ie US government is hoping foreign investors can change. Talks have been held with Shell , Texaco and Dow Chemicalcompanies on possible investments in various proposed projects, said Fawzi al-Hariri, Iraq's Minister of Industry and Minerals. He said the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation has also expressed interest. ( Quite a few important oil firms omitted from this list?

Iraq considering $2billion petrochemical plant
02.09.07. Reuters – Scotsman. Iraq is considering building a $2 billion (992 million pound) petrochemical plant and could begin talks with potential international investors in the project this year, the country's industry minister said on Sunday.

Bush in Iraq! (03.09.07)

Brits leave Basra Palace - but they will still be at Basra airport, so many press reports are misleading. (03.09.07)


Greenspan: ‘The Iraq war is largely about oil
17.09.07. LA Times. The former Federal Reserve chairman makes the comments in his new book, out today.

Greenspan clarifies Iraq war, oil link
17.09.07. Reuters / Washington Post. Clarifying a controversial comment in his new memoir, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he told the White House before the Iraq war that removing Saddam Hussein was "essential" to secure world oil supplies, according to an interview published on Monday.

Chevron, Total Submit Study On Iraq s Majnoon Devt - Oil Min
18.09.07. CNN. "The ministry has set up a committee headed by Director General of the South Oil Company, Abdul Jabbar Lauby, to study the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding with the two companies," the statement said. However, if a memorandum of understanding is signed with these two companies that doesn't imply they have been promised the right to develop the field, the statement noted.

Iraq war is all about oil
20.09.07. suntimes. Alan Greenspan in his book said, "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows. The Iraq war is largely about oil." I think we should fly an Exxon Mobil flag at military funerals just for the sake of honesty.

STILL Uneducated Media Dept.

Iraq parliament to discuss key oil law
20.09.07. Reuters. Iraq's parliament should start in early October to debate an oil law, needed to regulate how wealth from world's third largest oil reserves will be shared [ sic by its sectarian and ethnic groups, the deputy speaker said.

Bush [Cheney ] Says He's Keeping Eye On Kurdish Oil Deal
20.09.07. Bush has repeatedly said the point of his surge strategy in Iraq is to give the Iraqi government the security it needs to seek reconciliation in the divided country. One part of that effort was a national oil law that would let all Iraqis share the revenues of their country’s most valuable natural resource. That law has been a long time coming and is still stalled in Iraq's parliament. … "Our embassy also expressed concern about it [Hunt deal}. I knew nothing about the deal. I'm -- I need to know exactly how it happened," Bush said. "To the extent that it does undermine the ability for the government to come up with [an] oil revenue-sharing [ sic ] plan that unifies the country, obviously I'm -- if it undermines that, I'm concerned."
[ The US specifically built a wall to DIVIDE Iraqis ]

The UN and Iraq, AGAIN
21.09.07. karlmarxwasright / uruknet.
Regarding another flashpoint, the contentious Kirkuk referendum. It appears the Kirkuk referendum will NOT go forward this Fall as initially planned, avoiding immediate military conflict with the US economic ally, Turkey's, "Islamic," AKP government whose "passion is to sell state companies." Meanwhile, the Hunt deal with the KRG is being opportunistically excoriated and seized upon, while Sadr becomes Iraq's Baghdad and Basra Czar and the "internationalization" and privatization, i.e., sell out and sell off, moves forward inexorably, as above. The nominal puppet "central Iraq government" in Baghdad will reign supreme, necessitated by the multinationals and necessary for the international enterprise "lets make a deal."


MPs warn UK government on Iraq oil meddling

Notes for Editors

[1] EDM 1180 Iraqi Oil: Tabled by Katy Clark MP on March 20th 2007

[2] Kim Howells (Foreign Office Minister of State), in response to parliamentary question (PQ) by Alan Simpson MP
19 February 2007: “Exchanges have included discussion of Iraq’s evolving hydrocarbons legislation where British international oil companies' have valuable perspectives to offer based on their experience in other countries. Discussions with international oil companies on hydrocarbons legislation have included the range of contract types which Iraq is considering.

Lord Triesman (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office), in response to PQ by Lord Beaumont
25 June 2007:

“The current draft law is a result of negotiations between representatives of all Iraq's main political parties. The UK has during those negotiations encouraged balanced, technically unambiguous legislation, acceptable to Iraq's main political parties, which will provide a legal framework to facilitate much-needed investment in Iraq's oil industry, domestic and international. Were commercial opportunities to become available after the passage of the hydrocarbons legislation, we would be keen to promote UK companies and their expertise in the oil and gas sector”. See here .

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by PLATFORM also reveal that British diplomats in Baghdad and civil servants in Whitehall have worked with oil company lobbyists, helping them obtain direct contact with Iraqi decision-makers.
See PLATFORM's submission to the Iraq Commission here.

[3] PLATFORM is a member of a coalition calling for 'Hands off Iraqi Oil' along with War on Want, Jubilee Iraq, Iraq Occupation Focus, Naftana, CorporateWatch, and Voices UK. See more here .



Bush urges Maliki to press on with laws
25.09.07. NBC. Despite months of US pressure, the Iraqi parliament has yet to agree a new oil law …

Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, It's the Oil, Stupid
25.09.07. Tomdispatch. Before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, discussion of Iraqi oil was largely taboo in the American mainstream, while the "No Blood for Oil" signs that dotted antiwar demonstrations were generally derisively dismissed as too simpleminded for serious debate. American officials rarely even mentioned the word "oil" in the same sentence with "Iraq." When President Bush referred to Iraqi oil, he spoke only of preserving that country's "patrimony" for its people, a sentiment he and Great Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair emphasized in a statement they issued that lacked either the words "oil" or "energy" just as Baghdad fell: "We reaffirm our commitment to protect Iraq's natural resources, as the patrimony of the people of Iraq, which should be used only for their benefit."

Interview: J. Jay Park on the Iraq oil law
26.09.07. B. Lando, J. Jay Park's work on international legal petroleum regimes has taken him around the world. He helped craft Somalia's new hydrocarbons law and has led training sessions for officials in Iraq's Oil Ministry. He also represented Western Oil Sands, a Canadian firm, in its deal with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government. read the interview

Hunt oil deal creating tension in Iraq: US
27.09.07. AFP / legitgov. A US official on Thursday criticised an oil deal between Texas-based Hunt Oil Company and Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), saying it had "needlessly elevated tensions" in Iraq. Hunt had been advised by the US State Department not to enter the deal before the Iraqi parliament passed a [US-backed] national oil bill that will share out [steal] the country's lucrative oil revenues but it went ahead anyway, a US embassy official in Baghdad told reporters.

Iraq in talks with oil majors for plans
27.09.07. Earthtimes. Iraq's government is discussing oil field development with global oil majors as it attempts to boost production amidst security concerns…. Iraq [puppet] Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said earlier this month in Dubai his government would move forward on signing oil deals despite the lack of a modern oil law. That law is stuck in parliamentary debate. Shahristani would rely on 1980s legislation to dictate deals.

The Iraq oil grab that went awry
27.09.07. Dilip Hiro. Here is the sentence in The Age of Turbulence, the 531-page memoir of former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan, that caused so much turbulence in Washington last week: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil." Honest and accurate, it had the resonance of Bill Clinton's election campaign mantra, "It's the economy, stupid." But, finding himself the target of a White House attack - an administration spokesman labeled his comment "Georgetown cocktail party analysis" - Greenspan backtracked under cover of verbose elaboration. None of this, however, made an iota of difference to the facts on the ground.
Here is a prosecutor's brief for the position that "the Iraq war is largely about oil".

Black gold turns grey as Western giants prepare to draw from the wells of Iraq
30.09.07. Ewa Jasiewicz, Independent. The big oil multinationals thought the prize was theirs under new production-sharing agreements in the war-torn country. But the 'Iraqi wealth for the Iraqi people' movement is growing amid internecine conflicts and trade union resistance. ‘As the executives toasted one another with cocktails sponsored by Lukoil at the Iraq Petroleum 2007 conference in Dubai earlier this month, ordinary Iraqis were living in a state of emergency. … At the same time, a parallel conference was taking place in Basra under the banner, "Oil wealth belongs to the Iraqi people". … Controversy has raged over the provisions of the new law, with political parties, religious authorities, oil experts and trade unions calling for a referendum and a moratorium on any long-term contracts with foreign groups. Planning minister Ali Baban has pledged to resign if the law is passed; the Association of Muslim Scholars has issued a fatwa against it; more than 100 senior technocrats and experts have written to the government boycotting it; and Iraqi oil unions have not ruled out strike action. … A recent research poll commissioned by US and UK human rights groups found that just 4 per cent of Iraqis felt they had received enough information about the oil law. Some 63 per cent said they believed their oil industry should be developed by state companies, with 32 per cent of those indicating a strong preference. … The type of contracts on offer has also been a source of controversy. Production-sharing agreements (PSAs) were the first to be touted by the law – exclusive long-term deals that Iraq's unions liken to earlier, colonial-era concession agreements. These gave companies virtually unlimited profits, and control over the production, depletion and sale of Iraq's oil.


Kurds in Iraq strike 4 new oil deals, angering Baghdad
03.10.07. IHT. But the deals have aggravated tensions with the Arabs who dominate the national government, calling into question whether Iraqi politicians will ever be able to work out differences on how to develop the huge petroleum reserves. .. The Kurds' new oil and gas exploration production-sharing contracts were signed with Heritage Oil Corp., a publicly traded Canadian concern, and Perenco SA, a privately held French company. .. "Any contracts signed before the approval of the oil law will be ignored or considered illegal," said the spokesman, Assim Jihad. He added that the ministry would take "rigid steps against those who ignore its orders."

Come to Washington this September for the historic union of the 9/11Truth, Peace and Impeachment movements. March with us as we honor the victims of 9/11 and the thousands of casualties of the illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Call for the end of the bogus war on terror, impeachment of the criminals in the White House and restoration of our civil liberties.

[ America built partition walls in Baghdad, similar to the Berlin or Israeli walls, and then unbelievably voted to divide Iraq into three - thus advertising the fact that there never has been and there is NO "Iraqi" government. But In Iraq, the reality is - as it always is - quite different:

Iraq's National Liberation Front
08.10.07. Ibrahim Ebeid and Husayn Al-Kurdi, al-moharer. By far the biggest story and best-kept secret in the Western media has been the steady development of the Resistance to the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. While the attention of the U.S. information services and its accomplices has been fixated on the sectarian violence among various ethnic and religious communities, the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party has steadily been uniting and cooperating with all in Iraq who show themselves to be committed to ridding their country of occupation and restoring it to the exercise of self-determination and a resumption of its role at the forefront of the Arab struggle against Imperialism and Zionism.

Cheney's Oil Law For Iraq Is Neocolonial Theft
08.10.07. Muriel Mirak-Weissbach. Although a great deal more is at stake in the Iraq war than oil, there can be no doubt that the rich petroleum reserves of the country have stood high on the agenda of the war party since long before the 2003 invasion, and continue to be the focus of policy for the occupying powers.

Sunni insurgents form alliance against US
12.10.07. e. MacAskill, Guardian/ICH. · Political umbrella group announced on al-Jazeera· Statement pledges to continue resistance Six Iraqi insurgent groups took a step towards unifying the factions fighting the US yesterday by announcing the creation of a political umbrella organisation.

Analysis: Hunt, State talked on Iraq oil
12.10.07. B. Lando, UPI. A representative from Dallas-based Hunt Oil Corp. did talk with the U.S. State Department prior to signing a controversial oil deal with Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, according to an internal department communication obtained by United Press International. Hunt Oil, whose chief executive officer is connected to the Bush administration by campaign donations and a seat on an intelligence advisory board, had previously denied the meeting.

Iraq regional oil contracts legal: Kurdistan PM
15.10.07. [JURIST] Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani [official profile] defended the legality of the semi-autonomous Kurdish government's Kurdistan Oil and Gas Law [official statement] in an interview aired on Al Jazeera Sunday, faulting the Iraqi national government in Baghdad for failing to finalize oil revenue legislation.

The Impact of Oil Contracts for the Government of Iraqi Kurdistan
16.10.07. Walid Khadduri, Al-Hayat, uruknet.

Deputy PM says Iraq some way off oil law agreement
17.10.07. Reuters. "Most of the elements of the oil law are in place and if we were to decide to go to parliament and...present it any time soon, we probably can muster the political majority it needs to pass," Salih said. "But...we want this law to unify Iraqis, not to divide Iraqis. We will not want this law to pass (with) 51 percent of the vote. We have to have broad acceptance of this law and we have some work to do in that regard," he added, during a discussion at international affairs think tank Chatham House.

It's the Oil
18.10.07. Jim Holt, The London Review of Books / Truthout. None of this is new material for many of us, but it needs to be said again. “Who will get Iraq's oil? One of the Bush administration's 'benchmarks' for the Iraqi government is the passage of a law to distribute oil revenues. The draft law that the US has written for the Iraqi congress would cede nearly all the oil to Western companies. The Iraq National Oil Company would retain control of 17 of Iraq's 80 existing oilfields, leaving the rest - including all yet to be discovered oil - under foreign corporate control for 30 years.”

Iraqi Oil Ministry secures propane deal with Iran
21.10.07. portaliraq / Iraq's Oil Ministry has secured a propane deal with Iran and is making plans to allocate workers to load and deliver the needed fuel. Tehran and Baghdad signed a deal Oct. 15 to supply Iraq with propane from Iran.

Reliance signs northern Iraq oil contract - source
29.10.07. Reuters. Even as Turkish troops mass on the border of northern Iraq, India's Reliance signed a deal on Monday to explore for oil and gas in Iraq's Kurdish region, a senior company official said. Reliance signed the production sharing contract for two exploration blocks with the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), the source said.


Iraq, With U.S. Support, Voids a Russian Oil Contract

04.11.07. NY Times. Guided by American legal advisers, the Iraqi government has canceled a controversial development contract with the Russian company Lukoil for a vast oil field in Iraq’s southern desert, freeing it up for potential international investment in the future. ... The contract presented a quandary for the United States, which has been accused by some critics of invading Iraq for its oil. There is little evidence to date that the war effort has given American oil companies an inside track to Iraq’s reserves, and the Lukoil deal is the only one involving a major oil company to be reversed since the start of the war.
But as a cornerstone of its foreign policy, the United States has argued vigorously for countries to honor petroleum contracts. In that light, condoning the cancellation of the Lukoil contract could be seen in some quarters as evidence of a double standard.

Oil Minister: Iraq allocates US$2 billion for oil investments
15.11.07. IHT. The allocation was contained in the draft US$48.4 billion (€33.1 billion) budget for 2008 which was sent to parliament this week. "We can also increase investment in the oil sector through bringing in foreign companies," Hussain al-Shahristani told reporters at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries summit in the Saudi capital.
[US/iraq oil minister] Al-Shahristani said Iraq is negotiating with oil majors to sign oil fields development contracts. He would not name them, however.

US bolsters platforms to defend Iraq's oil
17.11.07. Telegraph. The US-led coalition is building a permanent security base on Iraq's oil pumping platforms in the Gulf to act as the "nerve centre" of efforts to protect the country's most vital strategic asset. Work on the Tactical Operations Centre on the Khawr al-Amaya terminal should be finished early next month. MAP.

Reliance’s problems in Iraq are just the tip of the iceberg
17.11.07. The latest difficulties confronting Reliance Industries in Iraq are just the tip of the iceberg for any foreign contractor hoping to enter Iraq’s oil sector, says Mr Roger Howard, author of ‘Iran Oil’ ( As reported earlier, Iraqi Oil Minister said on November 15 that Reliance’s deals with Kurdish Region have no standing. And also that the companies which have signed the contracts with the Kurdish Region may compromise their chances of getting future contracts in Iraq. Reliance has said that the two exploration blocks in the Kurdish Region for which it has signed the agreements are within the legal framework.

Swiss oil company admits to Iraq oil kickbacks
21.11.07. xinhuanet. Swiss oil-trading company VitolSA has pleaded guilty to a larceny charge in connection with paying secret kickbacks to the former Iraqi government under the U.N. oil-for-food program, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. .. Prosecutors alleged Vitol paid 13 million dollars in kickbacks to Iraqi officials in connection with oil purchases from June 2001to September 2002 and allowed false representations to be made to the U.N. that no kickbacks were paid. .. Last week, a leading U.S. oil company [see Condi Rice connections] Chevron Corp. agreed to pay 30 million dollars to settle civil and criminal charges related to secret surcharges paid by third-party merchants in exchange for oil from Iraq in the program.

IRAQ: Oil minister may face fraud charges
22.11.07. Sabah Kamel, Azzaman/uruknet. [U.S. controlled] Oil Minister Husain al-Shahristani has failed to provide final accounts on Iraqi oil revenues to the parliament, the head of the parliament’s economic commission said.

Israel to assess access to Iraq's oil
23.11.07. The US has asked ISRAEL to assess the possibility of pumping oil from Iraqi oil refineries to Haifa, according to Israeli reports. The Zionist regime views the pipeline to Haifa as a bonus that the US can trade in return for explicit support for the invasion of Iraq.

Iraq nullifies Kurdish oil deals
24.11.07. yahoonews. Iraq's oil ministry has declared all crude contracts signed by the Kurdish regional authorities with foreign companies null and void, a government official said on Saturday.

Stealing Iraq oil at heart of Bush foreign policy
28.11.07. G. Hebert, Chesterton Tribune. Bush's number-one non-military objective is to force the Iraqi Parliament to surrender two-thirds of Iraq's OIL fields to private, foreign OIL companies, allowing corporations such as Exxon-Mobil to virtually STEAL Iraq's most valuable economic resource.

Bush-Maliki Agreement Defies US Laws, Iraqi Parliament
30.11.07. Maya Schenwar, t r u t h o u t. Monday's "declaration of principles" between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki indicates the US will maintain a "long-term" presence in Iraq and involve itself closely in the Iraqi oil trade, backsliding on rules made in this year's two largest defense laws. The 2008 Defense Appropriations Act, which Bush signed into law in mid-November, bars the United States from establishing permanent bases in Iraq and from exerting control over Iraqi oil. The 2008 Defense Authorization Act, which has passed the House and Senate and is expected to be sent to the president sometime in the next few weeks, contains similar language. Under both acts, the US is forbidden "to establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq." Although when Bush approved the Appropriations Act, he released a signing statement exempting himself from several of the law's provisions, the proscription against permanent bases was not one of them. Joseph Gerson, ... said that the rule preventing permanent bases in Iraq can be easily dodged. It's a question of language manipulation, according to Gerson.

Interview: Leading Iraq's oil workers
30.11.07. b. Lando, UPI. "National expertise and resources are capable of enhancing production in the oil industry," Hassan Jumaa Awad, president of the umbrella Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, told United Press International Friday.

3 Videos: Daniel Estulin
author: The Bilderberg Group in a Snowshoe Documentary Film. Discussion on Peak Oil, and much more. Must Watch.


US envoy presses Iraq to pass laws aiding 'political reconciliation'
02.12.07. Jurist. US Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte [official profile] said Sunday at a news conference in Baghdad that Iraqi lawmakers must take advantage of what he called the "significant results" of the recent security surge and enact laws aimed at political reconciliation. Negroponte, who was US ambassador to Iraq from June 2004 to April 2005, spoke with top provincial and central government leaders during a tour of nine Iraqi cities this past week. Reflecting a US government agenda laid out earlier this year in Section 1314 of the US Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 (Public Law 110-28) [PDF text] Negroponte called on the Iraqi government to enact legislation ensuring the equitable distribution of oil resources and codifying the separation of central government and provincial powers. ... The oil law [JURIST news archive] is one of 18 benchmarks established by Public Law 110-28 to measure US success in Iraq.

"Oil Crusades: America Through Arab Eyes" :: Introduction
02.12.07. Abdulhay Y. Zalloum, mediamonitors. In September 2002 the administration of George W. Bush published its National Security Strategy in preparation for its pre-emptive wars, starting with Iraq. The document stated: “The US national security strategy will be based on a distinctly American internationalism that reflects the union of our values and our national interests.” Robert Kaplan, a well-known neoconservative, put it more bluntly: “We and nobody else will write the terms for international society.”1 But what happens if the marriage of US “values and national interests” is not backed by part or most of “international society”? ... This is the aspect of America that foreigners find hardest to comprehend - the seemingly deliberate choice by government to expose its citizens (especially its weakest) to jeopardy. The United States remains the world’s most productive economy. It outspends all other countries combined on defense. But abroad, the American model is not a popular one, and less so since Katrina. Other developed democracies take medical insurance, decent education, efficient public transport and a social safety net as essential attributes of a just society. Yet America seems determined to eliminate even lesser protections. ... When an economy is in trouble in the American capitalist order a war (whether started deliberately or accidentally) is always useful, particularly if, as we know with the Project for a New American Century, the ground has already been prepared for US global domination.

New oil law needed in Iraq: US Treasury official
05.12.07. Jurist. The Iraqi legislature's failure to pass an oil law [JURIST news archive], rather than the security situation in the country, is preventing international oil corporations from investing in Iraq, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt [official profile] said Tuesday. Kimmitt explained that companies are looking for the law to establish a firm investment framework with clear regulations before moving into Iraq, and are less concerned with security issues, with which the companies are used to dealing.

Russia may dump weakening US dollar in its energy deals
15.12.07. It seems that the rejection of the US dollar has become a fashion trend in modern-day business relations. Several major oil and gas exporters have recently announced their plans to use a different currency in their deals with other countries. The heads of Iran, Venezuela and Ecuador expressed such an opinion at the OPEC summit in November. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad particularly stated that Iran needs to replace the dollar because of its ongoing setback. His Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, expanded on the idea and put forward a suggestion to change the dollar for the basket of currencies (apart from the dollar it includes the euro, the British pound, the Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan and the Venezuelan bolivar) to recalculated world prices on oil. Ahmadinejad continued with an idea to set up the OPEC Oil Exchange and the OPEC Bank. See PNAC II for further $ related stories.

Bush, Maliki Break Iraqi Law to Renew U.N. Mandate for Occupation
20.12.07. Raed Jarrar and Joshua Holland, Alternet. A majority of Iraqi lawmakers say renewal requests not ratified by the parliament are illegal.

Iraqi oil delegation in Iran
30.12.07. Tehran times. “The 30-member delegation is composed of decision-makers and consultants in the Iraqi Oil Ministry and traders from Iraqi Kurdistan and the southern part of the country and has the chance to become familiar with the potential of Iranian companies to design and implement oil projects,” said Medhi Saleh Olwan, the head of Iraq’s delegation.


Oil: Iraq invites international oil companies to expand oil industry
03.01.08. Voices of Iraq, URUKNET. Oil Ministry on Wednesday invited international oil companies willing to work in Iraq to submit their papers, provided that they were officially registered in the country’s concerned offices, a ministry spokesman said. ... Jihad noted the invitation of companies coincided with a new Iraqi trend to implement a high number of oil projects in Oil Ministry’s long-term plan to improve the [AMERICAN ?] oil industry.

India's Reliance says to register for Iraq tenders
08.01.08. Reuters.

StatoilHydro says to register for Iraq deals
09.01.08. Reuters

Iraq prepares oil licensing round without federal oil law
10.01.08. iranoilgas. The Iraqi oil ministry's newly formed Directorate of Petroleum Contracts and Licensing has published its request to international oil companies to present prequalification documents to the directorate by January 31 ahead of a forthcoming licensing round.


SPEAKING FREELY: The Kremlin and the world energy war

10.01.08. W Joseph Stroupe, asia times. The global order is re-dividing into roughly two de facto blocs - one has the US at its core and the other has Russia-China at its core. Energy is the major dividing line between the two blocs, and as desperation for control of strategic energy resources increases rapidly, so will the sharpness of the dividing line between the two blocs. With energy thus serving as a primary catalyst, the resource-rich Eurasian bloc is attaining significantly more gravitational pull than the American bloc. Is the West blundering into strategic mishap, inadvertently increasing Russia's global energy importance and opening the door to an obligatory greater reliance on resource-rich Russia? What will be the outcome of ongoing developments? Empowering Russia; US hand strengthens Russia's; Kremlin strategy - opportunistic and brilliant; Global polarization.

Disputes between Iraq’s national government and Kurdish region keep taking their toll…
21.01.08. iraqoilreport. The national Oil Ministry intends to move forward on developing the oil and gas sector, while it cuts out companies who have signed with the Kurdistan Regional Government, deals Baghdad calls illegal. Meanwhile there’s no sign of any breakthrough on the oil law.

Iraq extends registration for international oil companies
22.01.08. Ynetnews. Iraq has extended to Feb. 18 its invitation to international oil companies to submit registration documentation to bid for participation in the development of some of Iraq's prized oil fields, the Oil Ministry announced Tuesday.

Iraq oil law talks not taking place now
24.01.08. earthtimes. Negotiations are not taking place in Baghdad on the controversial oil law and other oil disputes, contrary to previous news accounts. UPI confirmed that a top U.S. State Department official tasked with moving the oil law forward is in Washington, not Iraq.

U.S. to seek broad powers in Iraq as UN mandate expires
25.01.08. IHT. The Bush administration will insist that the government in Baghdad give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations and hold battlefield detainees, as well as guarantee American troops and civilian contractors immunity from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials.

American Oil companies offered five million dollars to each Iraqi MP to pass the Oil law
29.01.08. Roads to Iraq / uruknet. An Iraqi MP preferred to remain anonymous told the newspaper that highly confidential negotiations took place by representatives from American oil companies, offering $5 million to each MP who votes in favor of the Oil and Gas law.

Shell CEO says decision on Iraq plans will depend on oil law

31.01.08. money.cnn. A proposed legislation that will set the ground rules for the Iraqi oil industry is still pending in parliament.

Shell seeks Iraq gas deal, decision soon-minister

31.01.08. Reuters.


False Flag?
SFRC Testimony -- Zbigniew Brzezinski
01.02.08. Brzezinski Testimony, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
See also: Senate Foreign Relations Commitee - February 1, 2007.
If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a “defensive” U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Iraq Oil MInister: Cabinet study a bid offered by Royal Dutch Shell

01.02.08. Oil Minister Hussain Al Shahristani held a joint press conference with EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs. During the press Conference Shahiristani affirmed that “Royal Dutch Shell has made a proposal to Iraq for gathering gas and building a facility to supply the local market and export additional gas ... through southern ports or a pipeline”. He added that government will respond soon.

BP signs Iraq register for possible oil investments

05.02.08. Reuters.

U.S. on sidelines of Iraq oil law debate-envoy

05.02.08. Reuters. The United States is watching from the sidelines as negotiations stall between the federal Iraqi government and the regional leadership in Kurdistan over two laws to govern oil production and revenue sharing.

Iraq sidesteps oil law impasse
06.02.08. Financial Times. (must register to read article). Iraq's underperforming oil industry - hampered by years of Ba'athist incompetence, war, the invasion aftermath and, finally, a year-long political impasse - is to be opened to foreign investment. After a year waiting in vain for parliament to pass an oil industry law, the government in Baghdad says it will go ahead with its development plans regardless of the proposed legislation's fate.

Iraq invites oil groups ahead of key law
06.02.08. Financial Times. (must register to read). The Iraqi government is inviting major oil multinationals to participate for the first time in the development of the oil industry, without waiting for the passage of crucial legislation determining how the revenues will be shared between its regions. In a sign that the oil law - legislation the US considers key to Iraq's future stability - is unlikely to be agreed by parliament soon, Hussain Shahristani, oil minister, said Iraq was determined to push ahead with plans to raise production from a current 2.5m barrels per day to 6m bpd in five years.

Iraq hoping to pass oil law in 2008 - oil minister
06.02.08. Forbes. Iraq's oil minister said his government is determination to pass a draft oil law this year, adding he hopes to ramp up production to 2.9 mln barrels per day by the end of the year.

Oil majors to resume talks on Iraq technology pacts later this month
08.02.08. Hassan Hafidh, marketwatch.

Axon Mobil Crop interested in helping to develop Iraq huge oil reserves

Iraq deals with Big Oil to be signed in March…

08.02.08. iraq oii report.

Iraq attracts int'l firms for oil developments
10.02.08. The Iraqi Oil Minister announced that an invitation has been sent by the ministry to major oil companies to contribute in developing Iraq's oil industry, Iraq Directory reported.

Iraq’s Constitution needs fixing before the oil law can be moved, top MP says…
11.02.08. Iraq Oil Report. Political disputes over Iraq’s Constitution need to be resolved before progress on the oil law, said the deputy head of the Parliament’s Energy Committee. “This will make the way to pass the law of oil and gas,” Abdul-Hadi al-Hasani told United Press International’s Ben Lando in a phone interview from London. “It will be very easy to be passed because we won’t have any disagreements. Roadblocks now are not technical, they are political.” Russia’s Finance Minister said Russian firms will get special advantage to invest $4 billion in Iraq following Moscow’s agreement last week to erase $12 billion in Saddam-era debt. Alexi Kudrin also said Russia would get “special attention to the previously signed deals,”

Iraqi lawmakers pass 3 key bills
14.02.08. LA Times. Analysts cautioned, however, that Iraqi leaders remained deeply divided on key issues, including the distribution of Iraq's massive oil wealth and the future of disputed territories such as oil-rich Kirkuk.

Shell, ExxonMobil say it and others want in Iraq’s oil and gas but need guarantees in the law…
14.02.08. iraqoilreport. Iraq’s legal framework is still uncertain, Big Oil firms say, though negotiations on oil and gas deals are ongoing and could wrap up by next month.

Total says plans to register interest in Iraq
15.02.08. Reuters. French oil major Total
(TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to register its interest in helping to rebuild Iraq's shattered oil industry, although it has said it is too dangerous for now to operate there. Foreign oil companies have until Monday to register to bid for contracts.

The door to Iraq's oil opens
16.02.08. M K Bhadrakumar, atimes/legitgov. [Excellent Article - READ IT] Shahristani finds himself in an enviable position as a creator of wealth for the Western world. He holds the key to the door that opens out to the magical world of Iraqi oil. ... And Shahristani is visibly getting ready to negotiate the contracts for Iraq's "super giants". In the idiom of Big Oil, "super giants" are fields with at least five billion barrels of oil in reserve. Iraq's super giants are Kirkuk (in Kurdistan), Majnoon (bordering Iran), Rumaila North and South (in the south), West Qurna (west of Basra) and Zubair (in the southeast) fields, and, possibly, the Nahr Umr and East Baghdad fields. In addition, Iraq is estimated to have 22 "giant" fields, each having more than 1 billion barrels of oil.

In fact, Iraq may host the largest untapped reserves in the world. ... the world oil market is in a tizzy when Shahristani says something, anything. He is about to sign the contracts for these and many other large Iraqi oil-producing fields. ... The acuteness of the situation is apparent from the stark warning by the former chairman of the United States Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Richard Lugar, last year in a speech in New York that something like three quarters of the world's oil reserves are located in countries which are not under American influence. ... any plan to hasten the US effort to achieve greater oil independence translates in political terms as taking control of Iraq's oil reserves. There is simply no other viable alternative open to the US<./b>. ... The general expectation is that the TSAs will be signed during the third round of discussions due in March. ... In sum, as Ben Lando, United Press International's energy editor put it, "Big Oil's big dreams are close to coming true..."


Iran & Russia can rid world of dollar's slavery

17.02.08. iranmania. n's Ambassador to Moscow said Iran and Russia, as major energy suppliers, can rid the world of US dollar's slavery by promoting oil and gas deals using different currencies, IRNA reported. Gholam-Reza Ansari further emphasized in an interview with 'Echo Moscow Radio', "We have been trying to launch an Oil Stock Market in Iran and also trying to find substitute currencies for Iran's oil sales, that can be Russia's ruble."

Iraq inches toward luring big oil investment
18.02.08. S. Webb, Guardian. Iraq is inching toward attracting the billions of dollars needed to revamp its oil sector but international oil companies are still not ready to commit the massive sums required.

FACTBOX - Over 70 firms register for Iraq oil contracts
18.02.08. Reuters. The country, currently producing around 2.3 million barrels per day, is seeking major foreign investment to tap into its massive reserves and significantly boost output. Big oil firms such as Royal Dutch Shell and BP have been positioning for years to gain access and signed up for the register in advance of Monday's deadline. The oil ministry will announce which companies it has accepted as qualified to bid for future contracts in March.

Iraq oil law stalled, no end to impasse in sight
18.02.08. Ahmed Rasheed, Guardian. A law that could shape Iraq's future by clearing the way for investment in its oil fields is deadlocked by a battle for control of the reserves and no end to the impasse is in sight, lawmakers and officials say.
The bill is also meant to share revenue equitably from the world's third largest oil reserves, thus helping bridge the deep divides between Iraq's Shi'ites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds. The one thing all sides agree on is the law is vital to securing foreign investment to boost Iraq's oil output and rebuild its shattered economy after five years of insurgency and sectarian fighting that has killed tens of thousands of people.

But the law remains stalled by bitter rows between Baghdad and the largely autonomous Kurdistan region in the north over who will control the fields and how revenue will be shared. "Basically we're talking about political will here," said a U.S. official in Baghdad, who asked not to be identified.

Oil companies race to the finish as pre-registration for Iraq oil contracts closes
18.02.08. iraqoilreport. As the final day of registration closes, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said more than 70 firms from around the world have submitted papers. The Oil Ministry is going to vet those companies and announce the names next month of those who will be able to bid on contracts. Includes links for source information.

New Iraq oil refinery in Nasiriyah
18.02.08. UPI.

Shell CEO: Expects New Iraq Oil Law Before End Of 2008
21.02.08. easybourse. Iraq will draft a new oil law before the end of the year, a key step for oil companies to operate in the country, Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer said Thursday.

International actions urge against Iraq oil law, say no good oil decisions can be made under occupation
23.02.08. iraqoilreport.

Over 70 firms bid to develop Iraq's oil industry- paper
23.02.08. Voices of Iraq/uruknet. The report quoted a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, Aasem Jihad, as saying: "We are going to carefully study and check the documentation. Next month we will declare the companies which are permitted to work in the Iraqi oil fields."

Oil giants are poised to move into Basra
24.02.08. Observer. Brown's business envoy says that investment is the next step in bringing stability [sic] to the region

SK, KNOC bid for Iraqi oil licenses
25.02.08. joongangdaily. SK Energy Company, Korea¡¯s biggest oil refiner, and state-run Korea National Oil Corporation bid for licenses to develop oil reserves in southern Iraq

Analysis: Iraq oil debate review
28.02.08. Ben Lando. Iraq's draft oil law is stalled in Parliament, the national government and Kurdistan Regional Government are moving forward with their own deals -- unconstitutional, the each says of the other -- and Iraq's oil production is stalled at just more than 2 million barrels per day. .. United Press International has reviewed three recently published documents providing contrasting and varying insight. It's not exhaustive, but a good addition to an important discussion.

No movement on Iraq's draft oil law -Shahristani
29 .02.08. Reuters / Guardian. A draft oil law that would equitably share Iraq's vast oil reserves remains stalled in parliament with no sign of movement, Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said on Friday. Shahristani told Reuters in an interview that he believed a major obstacle to the law passing would be the signing of oil deals between the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) and some smaller foreign energy firms. "There haven't been any developments on the oil law.

MARCH 2008

Spanner in US Oil Plans?
West seeks pretexts to use against Iran-Ahmadinejad
02.03.08. Reuters / wiredispatch. ranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in remarks published on Sunday that some Western countries were using Iran's nuclear activity as a pretext to pressure his country.

EXTRA: Iraqis will foil US plans in region, says Ahmadinejad
02.03.08. dpa / wiredispatch. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday in Baghdad that the Iraqi people would eventually foil the United States political plans in the Persian Gulf region.

Iran leader's Iraq visit eclipses US, Arab ties
02.03.08. Reuters / wiredispatch. Bush has visited Iraq several times, his administration keen to reduce Iranian influence in the world's top oil-exporting region.

Iran, Iraq to review issue of joint oil wells
02.03.08. Xinhua. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini announced on Sunday that Iran and Iraq are to review the issue of the two countries' joint oil wells, the official IRNA news agency reported.

FACTBOX: Trade between Iraq and Iran
02.03.08. Reuters. Iraq is Iran's second-largest non-oil export market. It bought about $1.3 billion worth of goods from Iran in 2006, according to a U.S. Congressional Research Service report in January. Estimates for non-oil trade since 2006 have ranged as high as $2 billion, almost entirely one way from Iran to Iraq.

* Iran said two days before Ahmadinejad's visit that Tehran is offering a $1 billion loan to Baghdad, a long talked about deal that will cover "basic projects" to be executed by Iranian contractors using Iranians goods and equipment.

* Similar taxation, joint investment and customs deals have been discussed, as well as an oil pipeline between Iran's Abadan and the southern Iraqi oil hub of Basra.
Iraq is Iran's second-largest non-oil export market. It bought about $1.3 billion worth of goods from Iran in 2006, according to a US Congressional Research ...

* Iran has offered to help Iraq develop untapped fields. The two countries share many oil fields, including Naftshahr, Paidar-e Gharb, Azar and Azadegan.

MPs warn against US attack on Iran
02.03.08. ukpress. A military strike against Iran is unlikely to succeed and could provoke a violent backlash across the region, MPs have warned. The Commons foreign affairs committee urged the Government to use its influence with Washington to persuade the US administration to "engage" diplomatically with the Iranians over their nuclear programme.

Analysis: Pentagon: Iraq oil laws stuck
12.03.08. B. Lando, UPI. A Pentagon report says four key oil-related laws in Iraq are "stalled" in political gridlock while gains in oil and power production could be lost. The quarterly report to Congress, "Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq," released Tuesday, said the law commonly known as the oil law is the furthest along the political process -- it made it to Parliament but is stuck in the Energy Committee.


Iraq to pay oil firms to boost its output
19.03.08. A. Rashid, R. Fabi, Guardian. The Iraqi government is expected to pay up to $2.5 billion to five top oil companies to increase the country's oil output by nearly a quarter, a government adviser told Reuters on Wednesday.
In what would be the biggest foreign involvement for decades, Baghdad is close to signing technical support contracts with BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total.

Forbidden fields: Oil groups circle the prize of Iraq’s vast reserves
19.03.08. Financial Times. Royal Dutch Shell has been quietly working with Iraq’s oil ministry over the past two years, advising it on how to increase the production of two oilfields. Under an agreement struck after the 2003 invasion, no one from the company, Europe’s largest oil group, has set foot in the troubled country; instead, monthly face-to-face meetings with the oil ministry have been held in Amman, the Jordanian capital, and weekly contact has been maintained by video-link. The Shell-financed project – and the attention showered on Baghdad – appears to be paying off: Shell is now negotiating a technical support agreement in which it will be compensated for helping upgrade production of producing fields. The oil company will again set up a team outside Iraq, helping, among other things, to bring new equipment into the country and training Iraqis in its use. But now, five years after the invasion, the oil groups are hoping to take their involvement in the country to a new level. Baghdad, desperate to increase oil production yet starved of investment, is starting to dangle what the companies have been after all along: a chance to develop and later explore what may be the world’s most promising untapped oil reserves. Indeed, as the companies gear up for technical support agreements, they are also registering to pre-qualify for the first bidding round of oil development contracts that are to be offered by Baghdad. .. With parts of the global oil industry threatened with nationalisation and much of the Middle East still closed to foreign ownership of reserves, access to Iraq, with the world’s third-largest oil reserves, has long been viewed as a huge prize.

US Company to Help Expand Iraqi Refinery
19.03.08. AP. Iraq's Oil Ministry has signed a contract with the Colorado Industrial Construction Services Co. to help expand a refinery in Najaf, south of Baghdad, an official said Wednesday. The $85 million contract is designed to increase the refinery's current capacity of 20,000 barrels of oil per day by roughly 10,000 barrels per day, a senior ministry official said.

Exxon Mobil spent $16.9M lobbying
19.03.08. cnn.

Russian firm signs deal to fix Iraq-Syria pipeline
26.03.08. Reuters.

APRIL 2008

Iran torpedoes US plans for Iraqi oil
02.04.08. M K Bhadrakumar, uruk.

Shell ready to go to Iraq for oil
04.04.08, crippsears. Shell has revealed that it is ready to boost oil production in Iraq once the country has finalised its petroleum laws.

See THE BATTLE FOR BASRA TIMELINE: Footsteps to U.S. War in Iran? (08.04.08)

BP hopes to sign Iraq service contract midyear
07.04.08. Reuters. The deal is one of five that Iraq is negotiating with oil majors to boost output by 500,000 bpd, or nearly a quarter, from its largest oil fields. Iraqi officials had hoped to sign the deals by early April.

On Eve of Petraeus Testimony, Expert Cites Iraq's Urgent Need for Political Power-Sharing and Swift Action on Oil Legislation
07.04.08. Earthtimes. During the past several years, the Revenue Watch Institute has advised policy-makers in the U.S. and Iraq on the drafting and negotiation of oil legislation. A fragile compromise seemed within reach in early 2007, but continued suspicion and an accumulation of disputed details sidelined the negotiations. Kurdistan created its own Oil and Gas Act and signed independent contracts with 15 oil companies. The oil ministry has declared the Kurdish contracts illegitimate and is conducting its own negotiations with the oil industry. / In his Senate testimony, Mr. Said explained that while the U.S. military surge was meant to create an environment for dialogue, the political process seems to be heading in the opposite direction.

U.S. Attempt to Control Iraq's Oil and Economy Continues Behind the Scenes
07.04.08. Maya Schenwar, As violence rises again in Iraq, negotiations to institutionalize US economic dominance continue unabated.

Democrats to push legislation that would force Iraq to spend oil surplus on reconstruction
09.04.08. AP / china post. The legislation follows a recommendation by Gen. David Petraeus... / Iraq has about $30 billion in surplus funds stored in U.S. banks, [not a good idea during a recession?] according to Levin.

Total says near Iraq oil service contract deal
10.04.08. Guardian. Total is in the final stages of talks with Iraq for an oil service contract and the French group is also hoping investors from the Gulf region will buy into the company, Total's chief executive said on Thursday.
Iraq could pay up to $500 million for each of the five service contracts it is negotiating with oil majors, an Iraqi government advisor said last month.

Chevron seeks contract with Iraq on oil field
10.04.08. sfgate. Chevron Corp. confirmed Thursday that it is negotiating with the Iraqi government for a contract to help expand production at a major oil field near Basra. The company plans to work with French oil giant Total to improve operations at the West al-Qurna field in southern Iraq, said Chevron spokesman Kurt Glaubitz.

Exxon Mobil CEO gets $21.7 million pay package after record year
10.04.08. AP / kTEN. Exxon Mobil gave chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson an 18% raise to $21.7 million.

UPDATE:Iraq Official:To Announce Cos Qualified For Oil Bids Monday
11.04.08. CNN Money. Iraq will announce Monday those international companies qualified to bid for tenders to develop one of the world's largest oil fields, an Iraqi oil ministry official said Friday. .. / The ministry in February said that some 70 international companies had filed registration documentation to the ministry to take part in a future tender to develop Iraq's oil fields with proven oil reserves of 115 billion barrels, the world third-largest. Oil Minster Hussein al-Shahristani said some 115 companies sent documents.


Lukoil is permitted to produce oil in Iraq
14.04.08. russia-ic. Iraq’s authirities named 35 transnational oil companies permitted to participate in upcoming bids for oil fields’ development and oil production in the country. Among the companies listed are Exxon Mobile, Royal Dutch Shell and Russian Lukoil.

OVL qualifies for Iraq oil and gas contracts
14.04.08. Financial express. OVL is the only Indian company in the list of 35 firms that the Iraqi government, headed by Nouri al-Maliki, has found to be eligible for bidding for the contracts, the official said.

. . . . .
Iraq May Be Required To Pay For Its Own Destruction:

Iraq's financial free ride [sic] may end :
15.04.08. A. Flaherty, AP / ICH. Iraq's financial free [sic] ride may be over. After five years, Republicans and Democrats seem to have found common ground on at least one aspect of the war. From the fiercest foes of the war to the most steadfast Bush supporters, they are looking at Iraq's surging oil income and saying Baghdad should start picking up more of the tab, particularly for rebuilding hospitals, roads, power lines and the rest of the shattered country.
. . . . .

Attitudes Toward U.S. Worsen in Arab World:
14.04.08. IPS / ICH. Nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of more than 4,000 respondents in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said they held a "very unfavourable" attitude of the United States, up from 57 percent in late 2006. ... / Asked to name two countries that, in their view, posed the "biggest threat" to them, a whopping 95 percent and 88 percent of respondents named Israel and the U.S., respectively. That compared to 85 percent and 72 percent, respectively, in late 2006.

Iraq parl't sees more talks on draft oil law
15.04.08. Ahmed Rasheed and Khalid al-Ansary, Reuters, Guardian. Iraq's government and Kurdish officials will resume talks soon to try to iron out disputes holding up a landmark draft oil law, the deputy speaker of parliament said on Tuesday.
Khaled al-Attiya, a senior member in the ruling Shi'ite Alliance, said parliament had not yet received a final draft.

Korean Firm Wins Spot on Iraq's Oil Contract Shortlist
15.04.08. Iraq's oil ministry says the Korea Gas Corp. has qualified to compete for future oil and gas contracts in the country.

Iran ready to invest in Iraqi Kurdistan
15.04.08. IRNA/uruknet. Given Iran's readiness to implement various projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, he stated that in line with this, a proposal has been made to Iraqi officials to establish a 100-megawatt Mahabad-Souran power transmission line.

Iraq Gov’t Spokesman: Deal reached on oil law, Kurd contracts, Peshmerga funding, U.N.’s Kirkuk effort…
16.04.08. iraq oil report. raq’s central and Kurdish region governments have reached a deal on an oil law, including a method for weighing the validity of the oil deals the Kurds have signed with foreign firms, the top government spokesman told United

UPDATE 2-DNO lifted by hopes Iraq oil deal close
16.04.08. Reuters. DNO shares initially jumped by as much as 24 percent on media reports -- later denied by Iraq's oil ministry -- of a completed deal for Baghdad to honour oil contracts signed by the Kurdish regional government.

enter China

PetroChina to Bid for Oil and Gas in Iraq
16.04.08. trading markets.

Iraq: EU Eyes Energy Deal During Al-Maliki Visit
17.04.08. rferl. ... One of the EU's primary immediate interests lies in tapping into Iraq's natural-gas reserves. ... / Some of the EU's hopes for Iraq have been held up by the Iraqi leadership's inability to enact an oil and gas law, which could go some way to reassure would-be foreign investors [ but NOT Iraqis .] .. / Al-Maliki sought with mixed success to assure the EU that the Iraqi security situation is improving [sic]. He told the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee that he is "more confident than at any time before" that Iraq's government is close to declaring a "final victory" [sic] over Al-Qaeda and its allies from the previous regime, various militias, and other criminal groups. ... / Marios Matsakis, a liberal Cypriot deputy, accused al-Maliki of embellishment or worse. "Listening to you this morning describing the situation in your country, I thought you were talking about another country, not Iraq, because the reports we have daily from your country are completely different," Matsakis said. "In fact, there is violence, aggression, corruption, insecurity, terrorist activity, all continuing unabated. Your country is, in fact, in what I would consider to be a real mess."

Iraq to Open Oil-Field Bidding
17.04.08. Jonathan Stearns and Glen Carey, Washington Post. Big Companies to Compete for Exploration, Production Rights Iraq, which pre-qualified international oil companies this week for the bidding, will open the southern fields of Rumaila North, Rumaila South, West Qurna and Zubair for exploration, Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said in an interview in Brussels yesterday. In the north, international oil companies will be invited to develop the Kirkuk oil field and the Akkaz gas field.

Invest in Iraq and you repeat past mistakes, investors tell BP boardBig Companies to Compete for Exploration, Production Rights
18.04.08. Terry Macalister, Guardian.

Oil for War
19.03.08. Robert Bryce, American Conservative/global policy. After invading one of the most petroleum-rich countries on earth, the U.S. military is running on empty.

UPDATE 1-June signings for first Iraq service deals-minister
21.04.08. Reuters. The short term service contracts, which the companies hope will give them longer-term access to Iraq's reserves, the world's third largest, have been delayed from Baghdad's original target of March. / Shahristani confirmed that Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) was negotiating for the Kirkuk and Maysan field contracts, Exxon Mobil XON.M for Zubair, Chevron (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) for West Qurna and BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) for Rumaila. / The five two-year service contracts are intended to boost Iraqi output by some 500,000 barrels per day from 2.27 million bpd, and bridge the gap before a comprehensive oil law is passed to set up the framework for longer term investment.

Iran President: Weak Dollar Behind High Oil Prices

Iran dumps U.S. dollar for oil trades
30.04.08. AP. [a long-time acoming]

MAY 2008

Iraq: US Has No Claim to Oil Boom
01.05.08. Cliff Schecter/alternet. Iraqis are opposed to plans to use their oil to finance the US occupation.

UPDATE 2-DNO Q1 hit by low Iraq oil prices, export limbo
14.05.08. reuters. The first foreign firm to drill for oil in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion, DNO continued to truck oil from its Tawke field in north Iraq to the local market -- where it realised an oil price of $62 per barrel over January-March.

Oil Search signs Iraq contract
14.05.08. arabian business. It has been announced that Oil Search has signed a production-sharing contract in Iraq for an area with potential reserves of 250 million barrels of oil. The company, focused in Papua New Guinea, has secured the rights to the 632 km2 Shakal block, with an 18.75% stake in the venture and a 15 % revenue interest.

'US after infinite lease of oil-rich Iraq'
14.05.08. press tv. ir. Brigadier General Seyyed Masoud Jazayeri, the Deputy Head of Iran's Armed Forces Headquarters, said Tuesday that Bush administration is striving to establish a permanent US presence in Iraq in a move to plunder the country's massive oil resources.

Shell blasted on Iraq oil
05.08. G. Muttitt, Paul Collins, war on want. 'Plans risk more conflict'. British oil giant Shell threatens to trigger greater conflict in Iraq with plans to control the development, production and depletion of Iraq's oil reserves, campaigners warn today. / This warning, from the coalition Hands Off Iraqi Oil, comes as Shell holds its annual meeting amid growing resistance to the company’s bid to assume control over oil reserves. /The warning follows news that Shell plans to pay £3 million to directors to stay on the board for three years and the firm’s record £3.9bn earnings for the last quarter against the background of higher energy prices for pensioners, motorists and industry.

Bush's Middle East policy in tatters
21.05.08. M K Bhadrakumar, Asia Times. It would have been unthinkable five or six years ago that a visiting US president would receive such an open rebuff in the Middle East. Last weekend's exchanges revealed the extent of decline in the US's dominance of the Middle East through the present Bush administration. No doubt, oil lies at the very center of the decline of the American dominion. The cascading rise in oil prices has led to a massive transfer of resources to the energy exporting countries. Iran is one principal beneficiary.

Bush in no position to hector oil sheiks
20.05.08. George Bush's five-day lecture tour of the Mideast is, blessedly, over. With time so short in his presidency, we can hope that his unfortunate compulsion to tell other countries what they "must" do has been sated. / His 11th-hour effort to create some sort of Mideast peace legacy after 1 ½ terms of willfully ignoring that challenge has failed. Once he blew up Iraq, he never had a chance at success. But before that tragic error, he could not have been effective in making settlement progress even if he had tried, because of his unwillingness to lean hard on Israel and because the Arabs have us, literally, over a barrel. / Now, post-Iraq, the United States is no longer feared or respected in that part of the world, and effective diplomacy must be built on at least one of those pillars, preferably both. Without them, using "must" over and over again merely invites the sarcastic response of"...or what?"

America must face the harsh realities over oil
20.05.08. timesonline. Ever willing to be seen to please their American friends, the helpful chaps at the House of Saud duly agreed to ramp up output by a few hundred thousand barrels a day. This, of course, is a drop in the tanker of Saudi, let alone global energy production, and to nobody's great surprise it had no effect whatsoever. The price of crude crept above $127 per barrel in London trading yesterday. / In economic terms, there's a not very polite term for what the President was doing which describes the futility and discomfort of performing a certain bodily function into a countervailing breeze. ... / The President and most of his dwindling band of Republican brothers (though not, it should be said, the party's presidential candidate John McCain) pursue a similarly silly tack. / They'd have us believe that if only the United States would open up the Arctic to more oil exploration, prices would drop like a stone. In an election, this is all very well. But time is getting on and it is becoming ever more urgent that whoever wins in November drops the populist rhetoric and gets to grips with a couple of basic realities.

The Spin

We Are Making Progress in Iraq
20.05.08. N. Barzineil Wall St. Journal. While the media offers mostly images of violence, and many Americans have grown weary of the war in Iraq, I bring hopeful [sic] news to Washington this week as I meet with the administration and members of Congress. / We are working with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Iraqi [sic] leadership in Baghdad on the difficult issues facing our country. Our relationship with Iraq's federal government has never [sic] been better. And progress [sic] is being made on an oil law, the status of disputed territories, the proper role for Iraq's neighbors to play, and on relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey. / First, the oil law. We will now start negotiations using a draft drawn up [by US] in February of 2007. We'll also establish a process to send the national oil law, the revenue sharing law, and the laws concerning the Iraqi National Oil Company and the Oil Ministry in Baghdad to parliament as one package – to be voted up or down. / New oil contracts will be approved based on agreed-upon guidelines. The oil exploration contracts the KRG has already signed won't present a problem, because they were negotiated based on the highest standards [sic] of transparency. etc.

JUNE 2008

Iraq to sign deals with foreign oil firms this month.
08.06.08. economic times. The agreements cover Kirkuk field (Shell), Rumaila (BP), Al-Zubair (ExxonMobil), West Qurna Phase I (Chevron and Total), Missan province development (Shell and BHP Billiton) and the Subba and Luhais fields (Anadarko, Vitol and the UAE's Dome), MEES said.

Deals with Iraq are set to bring oil giants back
19.06.08. IHT / legitgov. 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, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat. The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations... There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to war in Iraq precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract. It is not clear what role the United States played in awarding the contracts; there are still American advisers to Iraq's Oil Ministry. Sensitive to the appearance that they were profiting from the war and already under pressure because of record high oil prices, senior officials of two of the companies, speaking only on the condition that they not be identified, said they were helping Iraq rebuild its decrepit oil industry.

Big Oil Returns to Iraq
21.06.08. Patrick Cockburn, The Independent /Alternet. The return of the four major Western oil companies will be greeted with dismay by many Iraqis who fear losing control of their vast oil reserves. / Nearly four decades after the four biggest Western oil companies were expelled from Iraq by Saddam Hussein, they are negotiating their return. By the end of the month, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil and Total will sign agreements with the Baghdad government, Iraq's first with big Western oil firms since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

35 foreign firms win deals to develop Iraq’s oil riches
23.06.08. Ahmad Kadhem, Azzaman/uruk. Many Iraqis are skeptical about Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP – original partners in the nationalized Iraq Petroleum Company or the IPC – as well as the U.S. Chevron. These firms, the ministry says, are to help Iraq add 500,000 more barrels a day to its nearly 2.5 million barrels currently. / The deals with these companies have already fanned mistrust and resentment among Iraqis who have always looked at their oil riches within a nationalist framework. / Jihad did not say whether the choice was competitive in nature and declined reassuring that any other deals would follow normal business practices, raising fears of backdoor deals.

It Was Oil, All Along
28.06.08. Bill Moyers, truthout. Oh, no, they told us, Iraq isn't a war about oil. That's cynical and simplistic, they said. It's about terror and al-Qaeda and toppling a dictator and spreading democracy and protecting ourselves from weapons of mass destruction. But one by one, these concocted rationales went up in smoke, fire and ashes. And now the bottom line turns out to be ... the bottom line. It is about oil.

US Advised Iraqi Ministry on Oil Deals
30.06.08. Andrew E. Kramer, NYTimes: "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."

Iraq fails to sign contracts with global oil majors
30.06.08. France 24/ICH. Iraq said on Monday it has failed to sign technical support agreements with global oil majors which were aimed at helping boost the war-torn country's oil production.

Iraqi oil contracts: the spoils of war?
30.06.08. M. Weaver, Guardian/ICH. If Iraq's oil belongs to the Iraqis, why are western companies being awarded contracts?

July 2008

Iraqi Oil Ministry Woos Western Petro-Giants
01.07.08. Spencer Ackerman, Firedoglake/alternet. With end of the Bush administration in sight, Iraq courts big oil directly.

Cheer on oil front as Iraq opens bid for eight big fields
02.07.08. nz herald / legitgov. Iraq opened international bidding for eight enormous oil and gas fields yesterday, paving the way for major investments in a nation with one of the world's largest petroleum reserves.

Committee Questions State Department Role in Iraq Oil Deal
James Glanz and Richard A. Oppel Jr., NY Times/Truth out. "Bush administration officials knew that a Texas oil company with close ties to President Bush was planning to sign an oil deal with the regional Kurdistan government that ran counter to American policy and undercut Iraq’s central government, a Congressional committee has concluded. The conclusions were based on e-mail messages and other documents that the committee released Wednesday."

Eager to Tap Iraq's Oil, Industry Execs Suggested Military Intervention
02.07.08. Jason Leopold, The Public Record/uruknet.
Two years before the invasion of Iraq, oil executives and foreign policy advisers told the Bush administration that the United States would remain "a prisoner of its energy dilemma" as long as Saddam Hussein was in power. That April 2001 report, "Strategic Policy Challenges for the 21st Century," was prepared by the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy and the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations at the req! uest of Vice President Dick Cheney...

Legislators speak of secret oil and gas agreement with Kurds
02.07.08. Azzaman/uruknet. The central government and the Kurdish authorities have signed a secret deal under which the Kurds are to extend their political autonomy over their oil riches, a senior member of parliament said. Jaber Khaleefa of the parliament’s Oil and Gas Committee said the secret deal has allowed both sides to proceed ahead with contracts with foreign firms despite the lack of constitutional backing...

Oil majors to lead another Iraq invasion
02.07.08. ABCNews/uruknet. Five years after the US-led coalition stormed into Iraq there is set to be another western invasion. This time it is the world's biggest oil companies leading the charge, 36 years after Saddam Hussein kicked them out. The oil giants are seeking access to Iraq's rich crude reserves, Australian companies BHP Billiton and Woodside are among them...

Chinese and Japanese Best-Placed for Oil Contracts in Iraq
02.07.08. le temps / truthout. The Iraqi government has still not concluded a single contract. / Monday, the Iraqi oil minister officially invited 35 oil companies to make their offers for development of the oil fields of the country that holds the third-largest proven reserves in the world, estimated at 117 billion barrels. According to intelligence gathered by Le Temps, Shell will obtain the Kirkuk field in the north and the Buzurgan field in Missan Province. BP is likely to be assigned the Rumaila field. On Tuesday, at the Global Oil Congress in Madrid, Total's boss, Christophe de Margerie, stated that his company was on the verge of signing contracts. The French major could obtain the Nahr Amer and Majnoon fields. It also counts on developing part of the West Qurna field along with Chevron-Texaco and Lukoil would get another part of that same field. / The Western press talks primarily about Western oil companies, although it's the Chinese and the Japanese that are the best-placed in the race for contracts.

Committee Questions State Dept. Role in Iraq Oil Deal
03.07.08, NY Times. Bush administration officials knew that a Texas oil company with close ties to President [sic] Bush was planning to sign an oil deal with the regional Kurdistan government that ran counter to American policy and undercut Iraq’s central government, a Congressional committee has concluded. The conclusions were based on e-mail messages and other documents that the committee released Wednesday... State Department officials did nothing to discourage the deal and in some cases appeared to welcome it, the documents show. The company, Hunt Oil of Dallas, signed the deal with Kurdistan’s semiautonomous government last September.

Iraq no-bid oil deals could be in doubt -lawmakers
03.07.08. reuters. Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani has told lawmakers that short-term technical support contracts with oil majors worth around $3 billion may not get signed, two parliamentarians said. / The lawmakers, the two top officials on parliament's oil and gas committee, told Reuters late on Wednesday that Shahristani was unhappy with delays in getting the contracts agreed. One sticking point was payment terms, they said. / The six no-bid contracts are worth about $500 million each and are intended to quickly raise Iraq's oil output by a combined 500,000 barrels per day.

Big Oil's Iraq Deals Are The Greatest Stick-Up In History
04.07.08. NAOMI KLEIN, Guardian / internet press. One week after the no-bid service deals were announced, the world caught its first glimpse of the real prize. After years of backroom arm-twisting, Iraq is officially flinging open six of its major oilfields, accounting for half of its known reserves, to foreign investors. According to Iraq's oil minister, the long-term contracts will be signed within a year. While ostensibly under the control of the Iraq National Oil Company, foreign corporations will keep 75% of the value of the contracts, leaving just 25% for their Iraqi partners. / That kind of ratio is unheard of in oil-rich Arab and Persian states, where achieving majority national control over oil was the defining victory of anti-colonial struggles. According to Greg Muttitt, a London-based oil expert, the assumption up until now was that foreign multinationals would be brought in to develop new fields in Iraq - not to take over those which are already in production and therefore require minimal technical support. "The policy was always to allocate these fields to the Iraq National Oil Company," he told me. "This is a total reversal of that policy, giving the Iraq National Oil Company a mere 25% instead of the planned 100%." ... And that's where the new contracts come in: they will raise more money, but Iraq has become such a treacherous place that the oil majors must be induced to take the risk of investing. Thus the invasion of Iraq neatly creates the argument for its subsequent pillage.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry's New Fave Five: All the Oil News That's Fit to Print (Attn: The New York Times)
07.07.08. Nick Turse, TomDispatch / truthout. Finally, after a long five years-plus, there was proof that the occupation of Iraq really did have something or other to do with oil. Quoting unnamed Iraqi Oil Ministry bureaucrats, oil company officials, and an anonymous American diplomat, Andrew Kramer of the Times wrote: "Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP ... 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." ... / According to recent reports, the proposed Iraqi service contracts, which may be paid off in cash or crude oil, will be worth $500 million each. That is roughly what the Pentagon paid out on June 18 alone - the day before the Times broke its story about Big Oil's return to Iraq - for natural gas and aviation fuel. Over half the total amount, in excess of $268 million, was handed over to one of the oil giants set to benefit from the Iraq deal: BP (formerly British Petroleum). Only days earlier, two of the other majors from the coterie of potential no-bid contractors, ExxonMobil and Chevron, nabbed contracts from the DoD - in ExxonMobil's case, a $73 million deal for gasoline and fuel oil; in Chevron's, a $16 million contract for aviation fuel.

It's the Oil, stupid!
08.07.08. Noam Chomsky, Khaleej Times / ICH. The deal just taking shape between Iraq's Oil Ministry and four Western oil companies raises critical questions about the nature of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq — questions that should certainly be addressed by presidential candidates and seriously discussed in the United States, and of course in occupied Iraq, where it appears that the population has little if any role in determining the future of their country.

Iraq's oil wealth on the block
09.07.08. Greg Muttitt, niqash/legitgov. Last week saw the biggest step so far towards transferring Iraqi oil into the hands of foreign multinational companies, sparking renewed accusations that the US-UK war on Iraq was really motivated by an oil grab. The Oil Ministry announced on 30 June that foreign oil companies would be invited to bid for contrcts to develop six of Iraq’s largest oilfields, which together contain around half of the country’s known oil reserves. [The move] would give away more to foreign companies than had been planned at any point since the Constitution was written in 2005, and possibly more than any major oil producer has given since the colonial era. The contracts were (with one exception) for the second stage of development of the oilfields, to come after the one- or two-year no-bid contracts that the Ministry has been privately negotiating with Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total and four smaller companies.

Reality Bites Back: Why the US Won't Attack Iran
09.07.08. Tom Englehardt, Tom Dispatch / truthout. It's been on the minds of antiwar activists and war critics since 2003. And little wonder. If you don't remember the pre-invasion of Iraq neocon quip, "Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran..." -- then take notice. Even before American troops entered Iraq, knocking off Iran was already "Regime Change: The Sequel." It was always on the Bush agenda and, for a faction of the administration led by Vice President Cheney, it evidently still is.

Time for Iraq War Oil Profits Taxes
10.07.08. Nick Mottern, Truthout,

Part 1. "The reality of US troops killing and dying for Iraq oil hit US public consciousness hard on June 19, 2008, when it was announced that the occupied government of Iraq intended to award no-bid oil service contracts to ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron and Total."

Part 2
11.07.08. Based on an analysis of economist Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, we estimate about 25 percent of oil company profits since the 2003 invasion of Iraq can be traced to the war's impact on world oil prices. On this basis, the excess war profit for ExxonMobil alone, between 2003 and 2008, would amount to about $40 billion.

Naomi Klein: Bush Sees Crises in Fuel, Food, Housing and Banking as Chance to Exploit Us More
16.07.08. Democracy Now!/alternet. People are desperate for solutions but instead they're handed policies that don't solve the crises, and are highly profitable for corporations.

AP IMPACT: Big Oil profits steered to investor
21.07.08. AP. As giant oil companies like Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips get set to report what will probably be another round of eye-popping quarterly profits, just where is all that money going? The five biggest international oil companies plowed about 55 percent of the cash they made from their businesses into stock buybacks and dividends last year, up from 30 percent in 2000 and just 1 percent in 1993, according to Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

Battle Over Oil-Rich City Threatens to Derail Iraqi Elections
03.08.08. L. Fadel and S. Issa, McClatchy. "Despite intense U.S. pressure, Iraqi legislators Sunday failed to reach an agreement to solve an increasingly bitter dispute over the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk. Kirkuk sits on Iraq's northern oil fields and also on a fault line between the Sunni Muslim Kurds who dominate most of northern Iraq and the Sunni Arabs who occupy the center of the country. Saddam Hussein forced thousands of Kurds out of the city to make way for more Arabs, but since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Kurds and their militia, the peshmerga, have driven many Sunni Arabs out of Kirkuk. The parliament's inability to resolve the dispute over the city mirrors Iraqi political leaders' inability to make progress on other fronts, including constitutional amendments and the passage of a law governing the distribution of the country's oil revenues, despite the recent improvements in security."

Perle returns to the scene of the crime
04.08.08. T. Elay, uruk. Richard Perle, the "neocon" defense analyst who played an outspoken role in building the fraudulent case for the invasion of Iraq, is now poised to take a position with a private oil firm working in Iraq and Kazakhstan, according to a Wall Street Journal report. / Documents and informants reveal that Perle has held discussions with members of the Kurdistan regional government about oil drilling contracts in northern Iraq. The Kurdish regional government has been handing out lucrative contracts to international concerns in violation of Iraqi national sovereignty, bypassing the Iraqi central government and not awaiting the Washington-crafted national oil law that is expected to be pushed through in the coming months.

Move Over America!

China begins work on $900 million power plant and agrees to develop oil field in southern Iraq
16.08.08. Salah al-Rubaai, Azzaman/uruknet. The Chinese firm, Shanghai, has started constructing a major thermal power plant in the southern Province of Wasit, the Ministry of electricity said. / Electricity Minister Kareem Waheed attended the laying down of the foundation stone for the plant, the largest ever project a foreign firm begins constructing in Iraq since the 2003 U.S. invasion.
(see Iraq: New U.S. Base - Wasit (11.09.08)

Iraq oil talks break down
17.08.08. Telegraph. Six short-term deals between the Iraqi government and international oil companies are likely to be abandoned after the US embassy said talks had broken down yesterday. / Short-term technical support contracts between the Iraqi government and the multinational companies, each worth around $500m (£268), were due to have been signed earlier this year but stalled due to disagreements over terms, a senior diplomat said.

Halliburton's secret deal for Iraq's Oil
18.08.08. Jason Leopold, webdiary. Four months before the United States invaded Iraq, the Department of Defense was secretly working with Vice Pesident Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton Corp. on a secret deal that would give the world's second largest oil services company total control over Iraq's oil fields, according to interviews with Halliburton's most senior executives.

Iraq to import fuel from Iran
19.08.08. Mohammed Dhaher, Azzaman/uruknet. Iran has agreed to ferry 1 million liters of fuel to Iraq to meet domestic needs for its rickety power plants, Iraqi ambassador to Tehran said.

China, Iraq reach three-billion-dollar oil deal: Iraqi embassy
28.08.08. AFP. The agreement revives a 1997 contract that granted China exploration rights to the Al-Ahdab oil field in the province of Wassit, just south of Baghdad.

US-Iraqi Agreement: Leaked: Full Text
01.09.08. Raed Jarrar. ICH. This leaked draft is a treasure of information. It's the first time any document related to this topic is made public. It shows how weak the Iraqi negotiations team is (it is really pathetic to read their "suggestions" on how to fix the disaster of an agreement).

Jordan imports Iraqi oil at preferential prices
04.09.08. zawya.

The Draft Iraqi Oil Law
09.09.08. JURIST / ICH. The proposed oil law creates a Federal Oil and Gas Council on which would sit representatives of Exxon-Mobil, Shell, BP, etc., whose tasks include approving their own contracts. Instead of Iraqi central government decision-making on oil, the legislation authorizes regional authorities to individually sign contracts with foreign companies, promoting bidding wars between regions that could lead to breaking Iraq into three states.

Iraqi Cabinet clears oil deal with China

Oil politics backfire on the US
06.09.08. Realistically, as peak oil continues to show its effects, no country is going to be able to peacably ‘control’ oil supply in the way that the US must have envisioned when it set out on this ‘mission’. Countries that find ways to limit their oil consumption are not only responding sensibly to climate change and peak oil, but vastly improving their international security and safety.

Shell, Iraq in Gas Agreement Worth Up to $4 Billion, FT Reports
09.09.08. Tom Biesheuvel, bloomberg. Royal Dutch Shell Plc may become the first Western oil company to sign a deal with the Iraqi government since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, with an agreement to capture and use natural gas in the area of Basra, the Financial Times said, citing oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad. / Shell officials have been invited to Baghdad next month to sign the deal, which could be worth up to $4 billion and will be run as a joint venture, with Shell taking 49 percent and the oil ministry 51 percent, the newspaper said.

Iraq to wait for formal bidding to award oil contracts
09.09.08. Houston Chronicle. Iraq won't award temporary oilfield services contracts to international companies before a bidding round aimed at bringing in foreign expertise to boost crude production, Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said

The Draft Iraqi Oil Law: Making a Mockery of Sovereignty
09.09.08. JURIST/uruknet. President Bush says the Iraq war is not about oil but his actions belie that claim. In the months before the March 2003 invasion, members of the U.S. State Department "Oil and Energy Working Group" met to plan how to open Iraq to international oil companies. The oil law now proposed by the Iraqi Council of Ministers is a virtual photocopy of a plan first drafted by U.S. oil industry executives and consultants in Houston long before Iraq was "liberated."

Iraq Cancels Six No-Bid Oil Contracts
10.09.08. Andrew E. Kramer and Campbell Robertson, NY Times/truthout. "An Iraqi plan to award six no-bid contracts to Western oil AP

Mission accomplished! Shell back in Iraq after 35-year absence
09.09.08. chroncom /legitgov. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's largest oil company, is set to start operations in Iraq after a 35-year absence when it signs an agreement with the Iraqi Oil Ministry to capture gas outside the southern city of Basra.

Iraq ends talks with French oil company
11.09.08. AP. France's Total says the Iraqi Oil Ministry has discontinued negotiations to develop an oil field in southern Iraq.

Oil giants flock to Iraqi auction
13.09.08. business times on line. THE world’s largest oil companies will converge on London next month [October 13] for a chance to re-enter Iraq for the first time in more than three decades. / In all, 34 oil companies, including BP, Royal Dutch Shell, BG, Exxonmobil, Gazprom and Sinopec, are expected to attend a roadshow held by Iraq’s oil minister Hussein al-Shahristani when he officially kicks off the bidding for so-called technical-service agreements. / These will govern exploitation of eight of the country’s largest fields.

Total Warns Iraq Against Shunning Oil Groups
14.09.08. khaleej times. Iraq risks reverting to protectionism over its oil industry, slowing growth in production, Total SA Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie said on Saturday. / “Like in the old days, some people are starting to think that they can get rid of international oil and gas companies,” de Margerie said in a speech at a meeting in Geneva of the London- based International Institute for Strategic Studies. / “I hope that they understand that we don’t want to invade, that the time of nations invading is over [sic.”

Shell Opens an Office in Baghdad After a 36-Year Absence
22.09.08. S. Dagher, NY Times.

Iraq, Royal Dutch Shell to ink gas deal
23.09.08. AP. Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani will sign the deal with executives from the Anglo-Dutch company at the Cabinet’s offices in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, his spokesman said.

Red Rag to US Bully

Pakistan, Iran to speed up work on IPI project
24.09.08. int times. The two leaders stressed the importance of early completion of over 2,700-km-long IPI gas pipeline project that could meet the much needed energy needs for the large industrial sector in Pakistan.


China oil deal made final next week
24.09.08. iraqoilreport.

Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government signs oil exploration deal with South Korea
25.09.08. iraq oil report.

Iraq: Britain's Premier Oil can't bid for contract
28.09.08. AP. A ministry official says the company failed to submit documents required for it to compete in a bid due to start next month.

Premier Oil replaced by Turkish company in Iraq oil bid round
29.09.08. turkish daily news. "The Turkish government company [Turkiye Petrolleri AO] is now in the bidding round, and there are a total of 35 companies."

Pentagon Hands Iraq Oil Deal to Shell
02.10.08. Nick Turse, AlterNet/truthout. "The fact that the US government secretly facilitated dealings between Shell and the Iraqi Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts; that the U.S. military - the primary occupation force in Iraq - regularly pays Shell billions of dollars each year; that on the heals of a contract worth hundred of millions of dollars with the US military, Shell just inked a deal with occupied Iraq and set up an office in the US military's secure 'Green Zone' should raise myriad questions about the tangled relationship between the major players in Iraq."

Iraqi funds bargaining chip for SOFA?
03.10.08. metimes/ICH. Iranian state-run media reported Friday Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said U.S. officials threatened to seize Iraqi funds if a long-term security deal failed. / Talabani said earlier this week Baghdad would prefer to sign the deal with Washington while U.S. President George Bush was still in office, but said several issues, including the activity of U.S. forces and immunity for foreign contractors, still were in the negotiating stages.

UAE firms start pumping Kurdish gas over Iraq objections
04.10.08. AFP. United Arab Emirates-based firms Dana Gas PJSC and Crescent Petroleum announced on Saturday that they had begun producing gas under a deal with Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region over Baghdad's objections.

Egypt, Iraq to Cooperate on Oil
05.10.08. Fox. The first Egyptian foreign minister to visit Iraq in nearly two decades met with Iraqi leaders Sunday to discuss plans to open a new embassy in Baghdad and cooperate in the oil sector.

Iraq to Give 82% of Proven Oil Reserves to International Oil Companies
05.10.08. Iraq Oil Report/alternet. Beyond beginning a bidding process for a handful of key oil and gas fields, the ministry will outline a second group of oil and gas fields up for grabs by International Oil Companies. Petroleum Intelligence Weekly reports the two rounds account for 94 billion barrels of Iraq’s 115 billion barrels of proven reserves.
- Service contracts will allow companies to book reserves

- Fields in northern areas, Diyala and Kirkuk provinces, could spark rows with the Kurdistan Regional Government

- Winners will have “lowest fees;” will pay a signing bonus based on field’s potential and taxes; pay to the IOC will be “linked to an internal rate of return, with 18 percent considered “acceptable” to Baghdad.”

- Development will mandate a Joint Venture with a state-owned oil company, though what the state will get out of that, and what control it will have, is still unknown.

Egyptian companies seek oil projects in Iraq
07.10.08. Xinhuanet.

Four days until Iraq oil and gas fields unveiled to international oil firms
09.10.08. IRAQ OIL REPORT.

Iraqi government fuels 'war for oil' theories by putting reserves up for biggest ever sale
13.10.08. Terry Macalister and Nicholas Watt, Guardian. BP, Shell and Exxon in meeting with minister; Unprecedented 40bn barrels up for grabs

President Bush Asserts Right to Control Iraqi Oil
16.10.08. marketwatch. President George Bush this week rejected a Congressional effort to bar the United States military from controlling Iraq's oil resources.

Maliki, oil and gas committee to meet on Iraq oil law
27.10.08. iraq oil report. The Iraqi Parliament’s Oil and Gas Committee will meet Tuesday with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to determine the fate of the draft oil law, after a version of the long-awaited bill made a brief appearance in Iraq’s Parliament Sunday before being kicked back to the Council of Ministers.


Iraq calls on parliament to pass oil law
05.11.08. gulf daily news. see also IHT here.

Shell secures 25-year access to Iraq's oil, gas
07.11.08. Washington Times. A joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Iraq's state-owned South Gas Co. could give Shell a 25-year monopoly on production and exports of natural gas in much of southern Iraq - the biggest foreign role in Iraq's oil and gas sector in four decades. The planned venture, spelled out in a 16-page document obtained by United Press International, goes well beyond descriptions provided by Iraqi and Shell officials on Sept. 22, when they held a public signing ceremony in Baghdad.

Iraq deputy PM calls for review of oil policy
08.11.08. IHT. Saleh also appealed Saturday for parliament to pass a long-stalled oil law soon. The draft bill aims to boost production and efficiency in the country's oil industry.

Iraq, CNPC put final signature on oil deal
11.11.08. Reuters/ Guardian. Iraq's state-owned North Oil company and representatives of the Chinese National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) have put final signatures on a 20-year deal to pump Iraqi crude, the Iraqi Oil Ministry said on Tuesday.

In Final Days, Bush Pushes for Iraq's Oil
11.11.08. Maya Schenwar, Truthout: "As the Bush administration rumbles to an end, it is pushing with increasing urgency for a commitment to a long-term US presence in Iraq. Though the military aspect of this 'commitment' has garnered substantial publicity, the administration is equally invested in the economic aspect: securing US control over Iraqi oil before Bush leaves office, according to experts in the field." / A leaked version of the US-Iraq status-of-forces agreement (SOFA), supplied and translated for Truthout by American Friends Service Committee Iraq consultant Raed Jarrar, states that the US will indefinitely "continue to protect Iraq's natural resources of gas and oil and protect Iraq's foreign financial and economic assets." / the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi Parliament and the Iraqi people oppose the pact and reject US control over Iraq's resources.

Photo Ali Abbas / EPA

Iraqi protesters burn George Bush effigy
22.11.08. LA Times

Bush pleased with Iraq war outcome
23.11.08. the age, au.

U.S. Would Control Profits from Iraqi Oil Exports Under Agreement
23.11.08. Jeremy R. Hammond, ICH. The terms of the agreement effectively allow the U.S. to continue to control billions of dollars of proceeds from the sale of exported Iraqi oil held in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It also contains numerous loopholes that could allow the continuing long-term presence of U.S. military forces and would effectively maintain U.S. jurisdiction over crimes committed by American soldiers.

Iraqi Foes of Security Deal Seek to Shield Assets
23.11.08,. NY Times. Iraqi lawmakers opposed to the proposed security agreement with the United States have seized on a new argument that has emerged only in recent days: the accord does not explicitly protect Iraq’s vast oil wealth and other assets from seizure to satisfy billions of dollars in legal claims against the former government of Saddam Hussein.

U.S. would control profits from Iraqi oil exports under agreement
24.11.08. Online Journal. Governments often use fear tactics to push through controversial legislation. Before the U.S. invasion, members of the Congress were told that if they didn’t authorize the president to use military force against Iraq, Saddam Hussein might attack the east coast of the United States with biological weapons from unmanned aerial vehicles, for example. More recently, members of Congress were warned that if they did not pass the highly unpopular bill taking taxpayers’ dollars to bail out banking and investment corporations, there would be martial law in America. Details of the SOFA articles.

Iraq govt and Kurds discuss disputed oil contracts
24.11.08, AP. The Kurds have signed nearly 20 production-sharing contracts with international oil companies after drafting their own oil and gas law in August 2007. / Those contracts are considered invalid by Iraq's Oil Ministry. It has threatened to exclude and blacklist companies that sign deals with the Kurds.

Shell Studies Possible Oil Projects in Iraq, CEO Says
24.11.08. bloomberg.

Iraq lawmakers say will challenge Shell gas deal
25.11.08. Reuters. Iraq's parliamentary oil and gas committee accused the Oil Ministry on Tuesday of handing a monopoly on Iraq's southern gas fields to Royal Dutch Shell, and vowed to challenge a contract signed with the firm.

Full Text The Agreement : Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq (PDF File)

Despite Agreement US Future in Iraq Unclear
28.11.08. Maya Schenwar, Truthout: "Iraq's Parliament passed the US-Iraq security pact by a slim majority on Wednesday, requiring that US troops withdraw from Iraq by 2011, unless the Iraqi people vote for a quicker withdrawal next year. The agreement is a muddle of triumphs and disappointments."


Kurdish authorities stand by foreign oil contracts
02.12.08. guardian.

Iraq seeks foreign oil investors
06.12.08. AP/uruknet. Iraq launched its first public campaign Friday to attract investment from international oil companies, rolling out a red carpet - literally - for executives from as far away as Russia and Japan. The oil minister said his country is now safe for business and desperately needs help in rebuilding its devastated oil infrastructure. "Tens of billions of dollars are needed for investment in the oil sector in the coming 10 years in different fields such as explorations for new fields, developing the discovered ones and refineries and other sectors," Hussain Al-Shahristani told reporters at the opening of an unprecedented, three-day energy conference held in an unfinished convention center in the tightly secured area surrounding the Baghdad International Airport....

Iraq promotes oil industry at first postwar Energy Expo
07.12.08. LA Times. ... And then there's the issue of legislation: the pivotal law that parliament must pass to cement a plan for managing Iraq's oil industry and dividing the profits. It has languished for more than a year, tied down by political feuds and distrust among Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. / None of this stopped about 70 exhibitors from coming to the expo, which closes today after a three-day run at the airport's new, not-quite-finished convention center.

Iraq's oil-rich Basra province seeks autonomy
07.12.08. AFP. Iraq's independent electoral commission announced plans on Sunday to collect signatures in support of a referendum to transform the oil-rich province of Basra into an autonomous region.

Iraq Drilling Co. and Mesopotamia Petroleum announce joint venture
07.12.08. Iraq Oil Report/ uruknet. Iraq Drilling Co. says a joint venture is imminent with U.K.-based Mesopotamia Petroleum Co. Idriss Muhsen al-Yassiri, the director general of IDC, one of the companies of the Iraq Oil Ministry, made the announcement Sunday at the Iraq Energy Expo & Conference in Baghdad. Yassiri was explaining the need to enhance Iraq’s drilling capabilities to increase and enhance well recovery and add to the technology of the IDC. He then asked Mesopotamia Petroleum Executive Chairman Stephen Remp and Deputy Chairman Peter Redman to stand and be recognized. The deal is just awaiting final approval by the government but all sides have agreed on the final text, Yassiri told Iraq Oil Report...

Aberdeen oil firm 'close to deal over move into Iraq'
09.12.08. scotsman. SHARES in Ramco, the Aberdeen oil exploration company, leapt by more than a quarter yesterday after the company indicated one of its businesses was close to securing terms for a launch into Iraq, writes Hamish Rutherford. / Mesopotamia Petroleum Company, in which Ramco has a 32.7 per cent stake, has been seeking a joint venture with state owned Iraq Drilling Company (IDC) to provide oil services in the region.

Iraq's oil law to be enacted by 2009
10.12.08. presstv. The news comes as the fourth draft of the Iraqi oil legislation is currently being prepared. / Former Iraqi oil minister, Thamir Ghadhban told MEED that the current draft needs final agreement but has been accepted by the Iraqi Council of Ministers. / International oil firms have earlier expressed anxiety that the first oil exploration round, which is currently being held by the Iraqi Oil Ministry, could face difficulties without new legislation.

A Legal Time Bomb in Iraq
12.12.08. Bruce Ackerman and Oona Hathaway, The Guardian/ truthout. Obama must return US foreign policy to the rule of law - and the mandate for [illegal] war is about to expire.

Iraq oil cops seen ready to guard pipeline by 2011
14.12.08. Guardian. "They need training. They need equipment. They need quality of life. They need to grow a little bit to take over," Lieutenant General Frank Helmick, head of U.S. military efforts to train Iraqi police and soldiers, said in an interview.

Official Report Faults Iraq Reconstruction
15.12.08. Karen deYoung, Washington Post. As the United States prepares for a major expansion of its development and reconstruction programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan, government investigators have described the U.S. reconstruction effort in Iraq as a failure that wasted billions. / .. Answering whether the program met its goals to rebuild Iraq and modernize its infrastructure, the report concludes, "Generally no."/ .. Basic services such as electricity and water, as well as oil production, remain at prewar levels or, in some cases, below.

Iraq delays oil bid launch two days to Dec. 31 (23.12.08. Reuters)

Iraq opens nearly 90 pct of its oil reserves
31.12.08. AP. On Wednesday, Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani kicked off the country's second postwar bidding round, naming 11 oil and gas fields or groups of fields as eligible for development proposals. / ne, Iraq opened its first postwar round of bidding for contracts to develop six major oil fields and two gas fields. Among those bidding were international energy giants Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC, ExxonMobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Total. / The companies, which are bidding on long-term service contracts, would be paid through a flat fee for their services instead of production-sharing contracts which are considered more preferable. / The ministry plans to sign the contracts of the first round in mid-2009 and the second round by the end of the year, al-Shahristani said.

Iraq to offer 10 fields in 2nd oil licensing round
31.12.08. AP. see also Reuters .


The Iraq War Is Now Illegal

Iraq Government rejects KRG oil contracts
02.01.09. alsumaria. Al Shahristani clarified that the government cannot approve oil contracts signed between KRG and world companies without knowing the nature of these contracts and their process. He added that these contracts were signed without the knowledge of the Iraqi people and in the absence of Iraq’s government.

China starts Iraq's first foreign oil work in decades
02.01.09. Ahmed Rashid, Reuters. The Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC) started work on a $3 billion oil project in Iraq on Friday, the first foreign firm to begin such work since dictator Saddam Hussein nationalised the industry decades ago. / A CNPC delegation formally opened the al-Ahdab oi field project in Iraq's eastern province of Wasit, officials there said.

Iraq welcomes oil firms to qualify again
05.01.09. UPI. "The Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD) of the Ministry of Oil is pleased to announce the second pre-qualification process to qualify the non-qualified International Oil Companies, which were not qualified in the First Licensing Round, in addition to the IOCs that did not submit their documents in the said round," PCLD Director General Natik Al-Bayati said in an announcement released Monday. Interested firms have until Feb. 1 to complete a new application process

Iraq invites oil firms to workshop in Turkey
19.01.09. AP. The Iraqi Oil Ministry will hold a workshop next month in Turkey for international oil companies that have qualified for Iraq's first contract bidding round since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

3 oil firms compete for Iraq field
21.01.09. AP. The ministry's spokesman, Assem Jihad, says Italy's Eni SpA, Spain's Repsol and Japan's Nippon Oil submitted bids for a service contract to develop the Nasiriyah oil field.

Iraq extends 2nd bidding round of oil contracts
03.02.09. xinhuanet. "Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate of Oil Ministry is pleased to announce the extension of pre-qualification process period of the second bidding round up to Feb. 15, 2009," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

FACTBOX-Firms pre-qualified for Iraq long-term oil deals
12.02.09. Reuters. [a list of these firms is provided]

Iraq offers foreign oil firms more data on fields
13.02.09. Reuters. The offer goes some way to helping companies measure the risks involved in taking on multi-billion dollar investments in the oilfields of Iraq. But other questions on transparency remain a concern, executives said on Friday.

Official: Iraq to award oil contract in March
18.02.09. AP. Italy's Eni SpA, Spain's Repsol and Japan's Nippon Oil are competing for the service contract to develop the Nasiriyah oil field. The contract is designed to offer engineering, procurement and construction services.

A Headline Straight Out of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine

Executive at Total says downturn provides opportunities

= = =
South Korea Signs $3.55 Billion Iraq Oil Field Accord
24.02.09. Bloomberg.

Iraq says 38 more firms applied to bid for oil
24.02.09. Reuters.

Exxon aims for big role in Iraq's oil sector
09.03.09. Reuters. Exxon Mobil Corp is in constant dialogue with Baghdad to create the investment climate that would allow it to become a significant player in Iraq's energy sector, Exxon's chief executive said on Monday. The world's largest publicly traded company is in the race for contracts to work on Iraq's biggest oilfields.

UPDATE 3-Iraq inaugurates oil deal with China's CNPC
11.03.09. Reuters. Iraq inaugurated a $3 billion oil project on Wednesday with the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC), activating the country's first major oil deal with a foreign firm since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Iraq Considers Giving Foreign Oil Investors Better Terms
18.03.09. NY Times. Foreign companies could own as much as 75 percent of the new ventures, the officials said. In its negotiations with dozens of international companies, including Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, Iraq had until now offered stakes of no more than 49 percent in new joint ventures to develop existing and new oil fields.

Collapse in Iraqi oil price shatters hope of recovery
20.03.09. Patrick Cockburn, Independent / anti-war. Government relents and allows foreign-owned companies a majority stake in projects to boost production.

RPT-StatoilHydro says invited to bid for Iraq oilfield (23.03.09. Reuters)

Iraq invites Total, Chevron, Statoil to field bid (24.03.09. Reuters)

Major Oil Companies Are Circling Iraq (26.03.09. Business Week)

International oil companies negotiate development deals with Iraq
27.03.09. examiner. This week three international oil companies -- including U.S.-based Chevron -- acknowledged that they have been invited to bid for a service contract for the prized Nahr bin Umar oil field... Iraq's Oil Ministry is studying offers from Italy's Eni SpA, Spain's Repsol and Japan's Nippon Oil to develop Nasiriyah field.

APRIL 2009

9 oil companies qualify for 2nd Iraq bidding round
01.04.09. forbes. The companies chosen include Russia's two state-owned companies OJSC Rosneft and OAO Tatneft; UK's Cairn Energy PLC; Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. (JOGMEC); and India's state-owned Oil India Ltd. / Others are Kazakhstan's state-owned JSC Kaz Munai Gas Exploration and Production (KMG-EP); Vietnam's state-run Petrovietnam Exploration and Production Corp.; Angola's national oil company Sonangol, and Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. (PPL (nyse: PPL - news - people ). / In addition to those nine companies, the 40 oil companies qualified for the first bidding round will also have the right to take part.

South Korea

UPDATE 2-S.Korean firms fail to qualify for Iraq oil fields
03.04.09. Reuters. State-run Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) and SK Energy (096770.KS) said on Friday they had failed to pass the pre-qualification process for oil exploration rights in Iraq.

Total, Chevron Preparing Joint Bid for Iraq Oil Field Rights (06.04.09. Bloomberg)

Iraq invites bids to drill 20 oil wells in south
07.04.09. Forbes. The field lies in oil-rich Dhi Qar province, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad. It has about 4.4 billion barrels in reserves.

Iraq invites Brazil Petrobras to build oil refinery (08.04.09. Reuters)

Asian companies the new players in Iraq's oil industry
11.04.09. AFP. The shortlisted bidders are mainly national oil companies, including five from Asia. They are JOGMEC of Japan, Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (KMG-EP), Oil India, Pakistan Petroleum and PetroVietnam, according to the Iraqi oil ministry. From Europe, Russian concerns Rosneft and Tatneft and Britain's Cairn Energy are pitching for business, while Angola's Sonangol represent Africa.

Russian firms keen to pump Iraqi oil, gas –agencies
11.04.09. Reuters. Gazprom Neft, Tatneft and LUKOIL want to take part in Iraqi oil and gas tenders, senior executives of the three Russian companies were quoted as saying on Saturday during a Moscow visit by Iraq's prime minister. / Tatneft (TATN3.MM) Deputy General Director Khamit Kaveev said his company wanted to renew talks on blocks 8 and 9 in Iraq's western desert after initially signing a memorandum of understanding in 2003, news agency RIA Novostei reported.

UPDATE 2-Shell partners with Chinese for Iraq oil bid (14.04.09. Reuters)

The ultimate irony: no oil for US “interests” in Iraq?

Iraq parliament promises to push Shell out of gas deal
18.04.09. Guardian. Shell has been considered a frontrunner in the race to seize control of the Iraqi energy sector after signing a $4bn deal to process and market gas from the south of the country and ship it, possibly to Britain as liquefied natural gas (LNG). / But the preliminary agreement - and a subsequent one with China National Petroleum Corporation - were unconstitutional and detrimental to Iraq's economic interests, said Jabir, who worked for more than 15 years at Iraq's state-run Southern Gas Company. /"We are going to do everything we can to revoke this deal and to push Shell out," Jabir told Reuters.

West's access to Iraqi oil in doubt
19.04.09. smh. The warning from the secretary of the Iraqi parliament's oil and gas committee, Jabir Khalifa Jabir, was seen by financial analysts yesterday as a serious threat to Western investment opportunities in a country that holds the second-largest oil reserves in the world. / Shell has been considered a front runner in the race to seize control of the Iraqi energy sector after signing a $US4 billion ($5.5 billion) deal to process and market gas from the south and ship it, possibly to Britain, as liquefied natural gas.

U.N. Report Lays Out Options for an Oil-Rich Iraqi Region (22.04.09. NY Times)

Iran, Iraq reach agreement on setting up oil pipeline (23.04.09. Pavvand)

Iraq invites bids to drill 60 oil wells (26.04.09. Forbes)

Americans Accused of Stealing Fuel in Iraq
25.04.09. James Glanz, NYTimes/uruknet. In a confidence game that made a mockery of the United States military’s most secure compound in Iraq, a ring of Americans posing as contractors and their Nepalese drivers used tanker trucks, forged documents and sheer brazenness to steal at least $40 million worth of jet and diesel fuel from an Army depot, according to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Virginia on Friday. Until they were caught, the dozen or so men in the ring operated an astoundingly successful con game in a war zone, the papers contend, apparently showing up in Iraq with nothing more than fake IDs and a talent for forging official requisition forms. Each time they filled up the tanker trucks at the depot in American headquarters near the Baghdad International Airport, the men would simply drive downtown and sell the fuel on the local black market, the court papers say...

Iraq Raises Oil Bid Round Signature Bonuses To $2.6B
28.04.09. WSJ. The Iraqi oil ministry has dramatically increased the signature bonuses for international oil companies to $2.6 billion for the six oil and two gas fields announced in Iraq's first bidding round, according to a final tender document issued by the ... (subscribe)

MAY 2009

Iraq deal to revive gas pipeline
17.05.09. BBC. A consortium of oil companies plans to revive a project to supply Europe with gas from northern Iraq. Austria's OMV and Hungary's MOL have teamed up with two companies from the United Arab Emirates to extract the gas from fields in Iraq's Kurdish region.

JUNE 2009

Iraq authorizes UK troops to protect...

03.06.09. Kuna, kw. The agreement also stipulates on having the British troops to train and support Iraqi Navy in terms of protecting seaports and floating oil installments, Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh said in a statement. / It also allows a limited number of troops, not exceeding 100 plus civilian escorts and five navy ships, to stay in Iraq for one year starting from the agreement's execution date and after parliament's ratification of it, he pointed out.

Iraq unveils foreign oil contract shortlist
10.06.09. Times Online. Exxonmobil, Total, BP, BG International and Premier Oil have been shortlisted to bid for contracts to work on Iraq's oil and gasfields.

Iraqi Oil Minister accused of mother of all sell-outs
18.06.09. Patrick Cockburn, Independent. To public fury, the country is handing over control of its fields to foreign companies.

Iraqi oil director wants to scrap deals
18.06.09. UPI. The state-owned South Oil Co. of Iraq called on the Iraqi oil minister to abandon plans for the end of June to open the country to foreign investors.

Baghdad bomb kills at least 72 (24.06.09. Telegraph)

US behind recent blasts in Iraq, says Sadr (26.06.09.

US reneges on Iraq withdrawal promises (26.06.09.


Big Oil Ready for Big Gamble in Iraq
25.06.09. WSJ. Next week, Iraqi officials plan a welcome-back party for Big Oil. The government intends to auction off oil contracts to foreign companies for the first time since Iraq nationalized its oil industry more than three decades ago. If all goes according to plan in the first round, foreign oil companies will move in to help Iraq revive production at six developed fields that have suffered from years of war and neglect. / But Iraq's fractious politics have complicated the process. Some lawmakers and oil officials have called for a delay of the auction. / Some 120 companies expressed interest in bidding for the contracts at the June 29 and 30 auction, according to the oil ministry. Thirty-five companies qualified to bid, including Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Italy's Eni SpA, Russia's Lukoil and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec. The six oil fields at stake are believed to hold reserves of more than 43 billion barrels.

FACTBOX: Iraq oilfields offered for long-term contracts
26.06.09. Reuters. Following are the Iraqi oilfields on offer for long-term development contracts in the first bidding round since the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003:
* Bai Hassan 2,292 100,000 200,000
* Kirkuk 8,550 350,000 600,000
* Maysan Fields* 2,463 110,000 285,000
* Rumaila 16,998 1,100,000 1,400,000
* West Qurna, Phase 1 8,682 400,000 650,000
* Zubair 4,040 200,000 400,000
TOTAL 43,025

* Akkas 2.1 500
* 3.3 330
* *Maysan comprises three fields --Bazargan, Abu Gharab and Fakka in southern Maysan province)

Iraq to open up oil fields for first time in four decades (29.06.09. business the age. )

Oil companies reject Iraq's terms
30.06.09. BBC. Only one of the bidders for the eight contracts to run oil and gas fields in Iraq has accepted oil ministry terms. Six oil fields and two gas fields were available in a televised auction that was the first big oil tender in Iraq since the invasion of 2003. / BP and China's CNPC agreed to run the 17 billion barrel Rumaila field after Exxon Mobil turned it down. / Iraq has asked the rest of the companies to consider resubmitting bids for the other seven contracts.

Oil and the Iraq “withdrawal”
30.06.09. James Cogan, WSWS. It is fitting that today’s deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq’s cities coincides with a meeting in Baghdad to auction off some of the country’s largest oil fields to companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and British Petroleum. It is a reminder of the real motives for the 2003 invasion and in whose interests over one million Iraqis and 4,634 American and other Western troops have been killed. The Iraq war was, and continues to be, an imperialist war waged by the American ruling elite for control of oil and geo-strategic advantage.

Iraq approves oil deal with BP-led consortium
18.10.09. Sinan Salaheddin, AP / uruknet. The Iraqi government has approved a deal with a consortium led by British giant BP PLC to develop a prized oil field in the south in a major step forward for the country's oil industry. / BP, which was booted from the country in 1972 when Saddam Hussein nationalized the oil industry, and its partner CNPC of China were the only winners in Iraq's first international oil auction in over 30 years for development rights for the 17.8 billion barrel Rumaila field.

The Arrogance of The Empire

Pickens says U.S. firms 'entitled' to Iraqi oil
22.10.09. Reuters. Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens told Congress on Wednesday that U.S. energy companies are "entitled" to some of Iraq's crude because of the large number of American troops that lost their lives fighting in the country and the U.S. taxpayer money spent in Iraq. Boone, speaking to the newly formed Congressional Natural Gas Caucus, complained that the Iraqi government has awarded contracts to foreign companies, particularly Chinese firms, to develop Iraq's vast reserves while American companies have mostly been shut out. "They're opening them (oil fields) up to other companies all over the world ... We're entitled to it," Pickens said of Iraq's oil.


Iraq Signs Contract to Develop Oil Field
03.11.09. NY Times. Iraq formally signed a contract with a consortium of foreign oil companies Tuesday to develop its largest oil field. / A partnership of British Petroleum and the Chinese National Petroleum Company signed a 20-year deal to develop the Rumalia field in southern Iraq, which contains about 17.8 billion barrels of oil.

ExxonMobil-led consortium nets 'supergiant' Iraq oil field
06.11.09. daily star / legitgov. An ExxonMobil-led consortium has beaten rival Russian, French and Chinese groups to bag initial rights to develop Iraq’s West Qurna field, the Oil Ministry said, adding momentum to Iraq’s bid to unlock its oil riches. With reserves of 8.7 billion barrels, West Qurna is amonBush officials lead Iraq business pushg the prized Iraqi fields eyed by Western oil majors as they face flat or lower output at home and stiff competition from Chinese and Indian oil companies in bidding for oilfields elsewhere.

Bush officials lead Iraq business push

09.11.09. FT/legitgov. Senior Bush administration figures including Zalmay Khalilzad, former US ambassador to Baghdad, and Jay Garner, the retired general who led reconstruction [sic] efforts immediately after the war, are leading a new business push into Iraq. / The two one-time senior officials are among a raft of former US soldiers and diplomats either leveraging their war experience helping foreign companies to enter the Iraqi market or starting businesses there themselves.

The Plunder Of Iraq’s Oil
11.11.09. James Cogan, WSWS/countercurrents. The awarding of development rights over the huge West Qurna oilfield in southern Iraq to Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell last Thursday once again underscores the criminal character of the continuing US-led occupation. As the direct result of the Iraq war, major American and other transnational energy conglomerates are now gaining control over some the largest oilfields in the world.

Other Index Research articles on Iraq and oil

Iraq Oil Reality vs the NY Times

Iraq: New U.S. Base - Wasit

US Bases in Iraq: Part I: Baghdad (updated 13/08/07)

US/UK Bases in Iraq, Part II. The South (updated 03/09/07)

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The Haditha Doctor and The Media Dissemblers(updated 03/09/07)

Haditha: The Mai Lai of Iraq

Iraq: The Assassination of Academics : The Jalili Report

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PNAC: Part I - Blueprint for Imperialism

PNAC: Part II - "Special Interests" - The Persian Gulf (Updated )

Index on Iraq: a journey in hell

Index on US Troops (updated)

UK Troops in Iraq: TimeLine (Updated 28.02.07, continued on UK Bases in Iraq)

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Camp Falcon : What Really happened?

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Iraq: The Occupation is the disease

Iraq's US/UK Permanent Bases : Intentional Obfuscation

Index Research: The Pentagon and Oil (24.07.08)


Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in the UK. She is on the BRussels Tribunal advisory committee.


The url for Iraq Oil: The Vultures are waiting is:
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The article can be seen on the BRussels Tribunal site here .


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