From Al Jazeera:
UK in ‘murky Iraq oil deal‘
A social justice group has obtained documents showing that the British government tried to influence a new Iraqi oil law in favour of UK businesses.
Greg Muttitt, an oil campaigner with Platform, told People and Power programme aired on Al Jazeera on Friday, that the British government was “using their position as a military occupier to influence and shape the future of the country’s economy in the interests of powerful companies“.
British diplomats have been involved in “extensive efforts since at least 2004 to push for companies such as BP and Shell to receive long-term contracts, which would give them exclusive rights to extract Iraq’s huge oilfields“, Platform said in a press release on Friday.
The group said they were able to prove this using documents obtained under Britain’s freedom of information act.
Muttitt said Iraqis have been “excluded” from the oil law while the British foreign office played a “central role in supporting the efforts of the oil companies to lobby the Iraqi government”.
Iraq has proven oil reserves of 115 billion barrels, with billions more thought to be as yet undiscovered, but since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq the country has been in chaos and unable to adequately exploit its own resources.
New legislation, drafted by Iraq’s fledgling government, is aimed at reviving the country’s oil revenues, but critics say the majority of the money will be going to multinationals.
Shell is not just a British, but also a Dutch corporation.
What dirty tricks may the Dutch Rightist Balkenende administration have been up to in Iraq?
Iraq war and oil in the USA: here.
Costs of the Iraq war in the US: $2.5 trillion, just for several decades of care for the wounded.