Whose more insane, me or the rest of society? Read the following blog of bollocks and decide for yourself.
Iraq's oil and America's reaction.
Published on June 23, 2008 By Scotteh In Politics

Regardless of what you may or may not believe with the reasons for us going into Iraq, one of the actual issues that arise as a result of the War is the issue of Iraq's oil.

Iraq has over 100 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. Just to put this into perspective, only Saudi Arabia has more conventional oil at 260 billion barrels.

Upon coallition forces securing Iraq, many Western Oil companies were licking their lips at the prospect of agreeing part-ownership contracts on these reserves with an Iraqi goverment that they'd hope was favourable towards their interests, or at least made to be favourable by US influences in Baghdad.

Indeed only recently, local Kurdish governing bodies in the north signed part ownership deals with several western companies, which essentially meant that the Iraqi oil was now part owned by American oil firms. This oil has already started to be pumped.

What then, you might ask is my point? We all knew this was going to happen, we all knew that regardless of the reason for us going in, we'd certainly be comming out with some of that black gold.

Well interestingly enough, it seems that this may not be the case as according to Hussain al-Shahristani, whom is Iraq's Oil Minister. In a recent interview on the BBC he said that  the Iraqi goverment won't be permitting any part ownership contracts on it's national wealth, which is primarily it's oil reserves.

He went on to say that any such contracts are against Iraq's constituion and that the only contracts being issued will be service contracts. Which in effect means that oil companies will only be payed to go in extract the oil etc. They won't see any of the profit from the oil itself, they'll be simply payed for their services.

What was possibly even more resounding, was his opinion on the Kurdish agreement with the Americans, he went on to say that any agreement that currently exists, will be declared illegal under Iraq law and that any barrels leaving the country from these illegal fields will be detained.

This is a hardline stance from an Iraqi goverement that, from my humble opinion at least, is looking to operate more independatley and make use of their oil the very same way the Saudi's have.


on Jun 24, 2008

The US was never going to get the oil for free, so it isn't like the oil companies just drill and sell. The Kurds made some deals with western oil companies that the Iraqi government is now saying was illegal, but they are working out the differences now and expect it to be resolved. You are correct; the companies that were hired got a two year service contract (with options for a third year). IMO this is to get the current oil infrastructure back up and running quickly (to take advantage of current prices). The equipment is in bad shape. Once this is completed only then will the Iraqi government put cash into new wells, it only makes sense. Then you will see western oil companies landing contracts. Western oil companies are in Saudi Arabia too, they are needed. To my knowledge every oil producing nation has control over their oil reserves, though I'm sure some contracts are more lucrative than others. You seem to suggest that we went to war to get oil. We never were going to get a drop without paying for it. In 1991 the critics of the first Gulf War said we are just there for the oil too. Funny I don't remember gas getting any cheaper after that conflict; the same will be true for this one.

on Jun 24, 2008

The US was never going to get the oil for free, so it isn't like the oil companies just drill and sell. The Kurds made some deals with western oil companies that the Iraqi government is now saying was illegal, but they are working out the differences now and expect it to be resolved.

The story goes back much further. 30 years ago Saddam nationalized Iraq's oil industry and refused to play ball with major western economic interests. The same sin was committed by the democratically elected prime minister of Iran in the early 50's, for which the U.S response was to instigate a coup that installed a tyrannical despot in charge of the country. But that despot played by the rules of the western economic entities for which he was rewarded handsomely.

Now, we are seeing the same thing in Iraq. Whether someone is a 'good' guy or a 'bad' guy really doesn't matter on the international stage- what DOES matter is if they'll play ball (the very question Scotteh has asked) The proposed oil law in Iraq does far more than open up oilfields to western companies... it outright gives them the deed to the wells with rights to take all revenue generated from those wells out of the country. A more detailed and succint explanation can be found here:


on Jun 24, 2008

I agree about the drilling rights, but even when US companies didn't drill, the US bought oil. Example Chavez rescinded US company oil leases, but we still get much of the oil. With some groups moaning about US oil company windfall profits, they don't seem too worried that the oil will still get pumped...by someone else and they in turn sell it to us. So if you ask many Americans if they will be upset that companies like Exxon don't get any leases, they rather not see a greedy US company make a profit, but wouldn't mind lining the pockets of some foreign country. The only time playing ball is of concern to the consumer is when there is an embargo, and we haven't seen that in a long time, even Iranian oil gets to the west, and I don't think they like us nearly as much as Iraq.

So to recap, my opinion concerning the article is that if Iraq doesn’t play ball with western oil companies, their shares might go down a little, some Americans will still detest the US oil industry, the proposed windfall profits tax on US oil companies might be a bit smaller, someone else will pump the oil, and we will still buy Iraqi oil.