The Iraqi government is putting the finishing touches on the policy that will determine who gets those contracts, but are they doing this independently?
A couple of possible reasons exist for awarding the contracts to Asian firms:
- An obligation to fulfill "agreements previously signed by those countries under Saddam Hussein's government."
- They did not participate in the UN sanctions against Iraq, and continued to work in Iraq's oil fields during that period.
- The initial contracts awarded will be small, and western firms "are just biding their time".
The initial contracts are for relatively small volumes of oil. It is alleged that western firms are sitting back, waiting for when larger contracts are awarded.
It's too early to tell what's up.