Iraqi oil wealth to BP bosses, not to Iraqis


This video is called Iraq oil wealth eludes poor – 03 Nov 09.

From Al Jazeera:

UK oil giant, British Petroleum and the China National Petroleum Corporation have signed Iraq‘s first major new oil deal since the 2003 US-led invasion.

The contract signed on Tuesday is to develop the country’s southern Rumaila oilfield, one of the world’s biggest. …

Iraq holds the world’s third largest crude reserves but has failed to ramp up production significantly after decades of war, sanctions and underinvestment. …

Rumaila, with 17 billion barrels in estimated crude reserves, is the workhorse of Iraq’s oil industry, producing almost half its total output of 2.5 million barrels per day. …

But Isam al-Chalabi, the country’s former oil minister, criticised the deal, saying it had opened the country up to further exploitation by foreigners and that ordinary Iraqis would not benefit.

“It is one of the biggest mistakes that he current government is making,” the former oil minister told Al Jazeera.

“If they needed technical support for the revamping of the reservoir, they should have gone to service providing companies, not international oil companies.

“Now they are coming to Rumaila, one of the largest-ever producing fields in the world, and soon you will hear from other companies who are also going to catch other fields, like Zubair, the West Qurna, Majnoon and the rest.”

Italy’s Eni, the United States’ Occidental Petroleum Corp and South Korea’s Kogas inked an initial deal over the four billion barrel Zubair oilfield on Monday.

Iraq is also engaged in talks with Royal Dutch Shell about resubmitting a bid for the Kirkuk oilfield in the north.

No trickle-down

Al-Chalabi said: “Iraqis will certainly not benefit from the oil revenue, the government is going to take the money and spend it the way they want.

“These companies claim they are going to use local labour, but they definitely will not. …

A second auction of 10 largely undeveloped oilfields will be held between December 11-12.

Refugees turn their backs on Iraq: here.

British travellers are to be encouraged to holiday in war-torn Iraq in a bizarre pitch by Iraqi and British tourism bodies, it has been revealed: here.

Key oil figures were distorted by US pressure, says whistleblower: here.

BP faces damages claim over pipeline through Colombian farmland: here.

Britain: BP tanker drivers who deliver fuel to Sainsbury’s supermarkets are to be balloted for industrial action after an attack on their terms and conditions, the Unite union has revealed: here.

6 thoughts on “Iraqi oil wealth to BP bosses, not to Iraqis

  1. Iraq: Eni sign Zubair oil deal

    Nov 2 2009 5:36AM

    Associated Press

    BAGHDAD (AP) Iraq’s oil ministry has signed an initial deal with a consortium led by Italy’s Eni SpA to develop a prized southern oil field.

    Eni, the U.S.’s Occidental Petroleum Corp. and South Korea’s KOGAS will develop the 4.1 billion barrel Zubair field, with the companies to receive $2 per barrel of crude produced.

    That’s less than half $4.80 per barrel they had bid in the licensing round in held in June in Baghdad.

    The consortium will initially produce 200,000 barrels a day, rising to 1.1 million within seven years.

    The contract lasts 20 years and could be extended to 25.

    The deal was signed Monday, but must still be approved by the Cabinet.

    (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  2. Iraqi PM: Cabinet to discuss Zubair deal next week

    By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
    Associated Press Writer

    Iraq’s Cabinet will meet next week to ratify a deal with a consortium led by Italy’s Eni SpA to develop a prized southern oil field, the prime minister said Tuesday.

    Eni, the U.S.’s Occidental Petroleum Corp. and South Korea’s KOGAS last week initialed a deal to develop the 4.1 billion barrel Zubair field, with an eye toward boosting output from around 200,000 barrels per day to 1.1 million barrels per day within seven years.

    The deal must still be approved by the Cabinet.

    Another deal initialed last week, with a consortium led by U.S. and European oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC for the West Qurna Stage 1 field, is also awaiting Cabinet approval.

    During a news conference Tuesday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the Cabinet’s legal committee had some issues regarding the Zubair contract and that it has been referred once again to the legal department and the oil ministry to deal with the issues.

    He said the Zubair deal would be submitted to the Cabinet next Tuesday for ratification. The prime minister did not specify what the issues were.

    “There have some comments forwarded to us by the legal department, so the contract has been referred once again to discussions between the legal department and the oil ministry,” al-Maliki said of the Zubair deal. “Then it will come back to the Cabinet on Tuesday for ratification.”

    According to the Zubair deal initialed last week, the Eni-led consortium would receive $2 per barrel of crude produced.

    Under the terms of the separate West Qurna Stage 1 deal, the two companies would receive $1.9 for every barrel produced in the 8.6 billion barrel field, if the deal is approved by the Cabinet. The deal calls for them to boost production from 280,000 barrels per day to 2.325 million barrels per day within the first seven years.

    Both deals would last for 20 years and could be extended five more years.

    Iraq has the world’s third-largest known oil reserves, and crude exports are the country’s most important source of revenue. But Iraq’s current daily output of 2.4 million barrels is far below its potential.

    Iraq’s oil industry has been hampered by years of devastating wars, crippling sanctions and sabotage attacks by insurgents after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

    Posted on Tue, Nov. 10, 2009 05:42 AM

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