Thursday, June 19, 2008

All About Oil

No other reason for the Iraq War has ever stood up to a little dash of reasoned reflection. It's all the orthodox geopolitics of military bases and oil, apparently worth hundreds of thousands of human lives and trillions of dollars. We've already seen one horn of the end game. Now the other...
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.

The no-bid contracts are unusual for the industry, and the offers prevailed over others by more than 40 companies, including companies in Russia, China and India. The contracts, which would run for one to two years and are relatively small by industry standards, would nonetheless give the companies an advantage in bidding on future contracts in a country that many experts consider to be the best hope for a large-scale increase in oil production.

By the way, Tom Engelhardt has been on the ball on the permanent bases since early on in the war. See, for example, here, here, and here.

(Photo above from here. September 1932. "Iraq oil fields. Man with fires in desert." American Colony Photo Department, Matson Photo Collection).

1 comment:

zahar2902 said...

oil oil oil
petrol petrol petrol
i'm fed up for that increasing every year? How can taht can be? tension tension tension. While oil price incresed, all the grocery increased their price too... They want steady profit. How about us as consumer?