Friday, April 06, 2007

Iraqi Oil Contracts Likely Not to Go to Western Firms

I'm not sure how this one will pan out, but it's interesting that CNN Money is reporting that Iraqi oil contracts will go not to the United States or other Western firms, but to companies from such places as China, India, Indonesia, and Viet Nam.

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".
Some claim that these contracts are proof that the Bush Administration was not in Iraq for the oil. However, the Bush Administration and representatives from the International Monetary fund had a chance to look at the draft law before it went to the Iraqi parliament.

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.

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