Proposed Iraqi Law give US & UK control of oil



poweredbysweat

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Read the article in "The Independent".

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...cle2132574.ece

The Independent on Sunday has learnt that the Iraqi government is about to push through a law giving Western oil companies the right to exploit the country's massive oil reserves....

...Its provisions are a radical departure from the norm for developing countries: under a system known as "production-sharing agreements", or PSAs, oil majors such as BP and Shell in Britain, and Exxon and Chevron in the US, would be able to sign deals of up to 30 years to extract Iraq's oil.

PSAs allow a country to retain legal ownership of its oil, but gives a share of profits to the international companies that invest in infrastructure and operation of the wells, pipelines and refineries. Their introduction would be a first for a major Middle Eastern oil producer. Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world's number one and two oil exporters, both tightly control their industries through state-owned companies with no appreciable foreign collaboration, as do most members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Opec....


Anybody continues to believe that the Iraqi war was or is about terrorism is wearing blinders. We need to write our congressmen expressing our outrage.
 

Eldron

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The war aside - I'm all for PSA's...

For too long the rest of the world has been at the mercy of OPEC - everytime they fart the oil price jumps a few $. The more players entering the middle eastern oil market the better.

The winter might not be as mild in the US next year and OPEC will have us paying $70 a barrel again!!!!
 

sogood

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US and UK may have commercial control of that oil. But they won't be very happy with the action of insurgents.
 

Wurm

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PSA's? Where the Big Oil co's get to screw the indiginous Iraqi population out of their birthright? Coming from someone who works for/with Big Oil, I'm not surprised at Eldron's stance.

However:

By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor


Jan 9, 2007, 00:51



It took an article from the distant New Zealand Herald (via a reader) to tell me "Oil giants to profit from law change". That is, the third largest reserves in the world are about to be fed to the Western oil lions under another sell-out law that the Iraqi Parliament will vote on in days. Of course, the US government had a grease-stained hand in drawing up the law, a draft of which the NZ Herald got to see early on. God forbid the New York Times or Washington Post should know . . .

But Big Oil’s Boyz, BP, Shell and Exxon will get 30-year contracts to suck up the crude and permit the first large-scale operation of foreign oil hands on Iraq since the industry was nationalized in 1972. And you were wondering if they really were bombing Iraq into the Stone Age for oil. This should put an end to your suspicions.

But then the Herald reminds us Vice President **** Cheney said in 1999, while still chief exec of oil services company Halliburton, "that the world would thirst for an additional 50 million barrels a day by 2010." So where would the oil come from? Prophetically, he announced, "The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies." Thus spake the Cheney, spouting oil wells in the reflection of his outsize glasses.

Naturally, the oil executives claim that the "law" to permit Western companies to loot up to three-quarters of the profits in the early years is the only way to get Iraq’s oil industry back on its feet, before we kick it down with sanctions, more war and loss of technical expertise. Ah, but don’t go away feeling like The Ugly American, like your country is nasty.

We will move forward through ‘production-sharing agreements’ (PSAs), unusual in the Middle East, where the oil business in Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world’s two biggest producers, is state controlled. At least, theirs is a semblance of autonomy, even though the Saudis are in our bag, the latter, who knows, on the way.

PSAs permit a country to hold on to legal ownership of its oil, but hands out a share of profits to foreign companies that invest in infrastructure as well operation of wells, pipelines and refineries. Of course, we’ve invested, according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, some $2 trillion in the cost of the Iraq war, all things on and off the books counted.

Critics say that Iraq, where oil sustains 95 percent of the economy, is being held up, forced to give up an unacceptable (illegal?) share of sovereignty. What do you think?

Yet, let us remember those dark days of 2003, when Tony "the mouthpiece" Blair said nay to the "false claim" that "we want to seize" Iraq’s oil income. He wanted the money put into a trust fund. What like our Social Security? Well, it would be run by the UN, but the idea went nowhere.

That same year, then Secretary of State Colin Powell said, "It cost a great deal of money to prosecute the war." [I love the verb]. "But the oil of the Iraqi people" [speaking of prosecution], "belongs to the Iraqi people; it is their wealth, it will be used for their benefit. So we did not do it for oil." That’s okay, CP, the check is in the mail.

I remember, if I may inject a personal anecdote, asking guest speaker Mario Cuomo at the 92nd Street Y, if indeed Iraq wasn’t about seizing it’s oil, and he gave me a huge "ohhhh nooooo," and filibustered for 10 minutes, till it was safe enough to ask for the next question. By then the audience had fallen asleep. And he’s a Democrat.

Anyhow, the provision’s backers say the 75 percent take on the profits will go on until drilling costs have been recouped. Err, that could take a couple of years right? After that, the Oil Boyz would skim about 20 percent of the profits. But that will double the industry skim for such deals. Tony Soprano would whip you up a frying pan of sausage and peppers for an offer like that.

But Greg Muttitt, a researcher for Platform, one of this nagging human rights and environmental groups which sticks its wise nose in the oil biz, said in so many words Iraq was being screwed, i.e., asked to pay an enormous price over the next three decades for the very instability we created. And they get screwed because, basically, they don’t have the clout to really bargain for the terms of any deal, including being let the hell alone.

Remember, the placement of Saddam as Iraq’s gangsta leader came from GHW Bush, as well as leading him to believe he could steal Kuwait to fill his coffers after the eight-year Iran/Iraq War. We also fed money in that war to both sides so they’d kill each other quicker. Bonking Iraq with Gulf War I really came when Hussein got to feeling his oats and started fluctuating OPEC supplies and prices. A decade later, this triggered Junior's going back for Hussein’s literal head, lying about him having Weapons of Mass Destruction to create Operation Shock and Awfulness.

Nevertheless, Khaled Salih, spokesman for the Kurdish Regional Government, a party to the negotiations, said the so-called Iraqi government plans to have the skim on the books by the Ides of March. Hail Caesar!

Several oil majors sent teams to Iraq to lobby for deals before the law is rubber-stamped. The big names are not likely to invest until the violence in Iraq calms down. Don’t worry, fellas, the cavalry is on the way.

Meanwhile, James Paul, executive director of the Global Policy Forum, an international government watchdog, bow-wowed, "It is not an exaggeration to say that the overwhelming majority of the population would be opposed to this. To do it anyway, with minimal discussion within the (Iraqi) Parliament is really just pouring more oil on the fire."

Liberal Democrat's Treasury spokesman Vince Cable, former chief economist at Shell, said it was crucial that any deal would guarantee funds to rebuild Iraq. Who would that be: Halliburton, Brown & Root, Robber and Barons?

...


Rest of article
 

poweredbysweat

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Eldron said:
The war aside - I'm all for PSA's...

For too long the rest of the world has been at the mercy of OPEC - everytime they fart the oil price jumps a few $. The more players entering the middle eastern oil market the better.

The winter might not be as mild in the US next year and OPEC will have us paying $70 a barrel again!!!!
PSAs bothers me a lot. Especially when the deals that these greedy people put forth, are only possible because they lobbied the Federal Government to invade a country, kill innocent people, and occupy the country. In addition, this continued occupation is nothing less than a subsidy for these corporations, courtesy of the taxpayers. And all this is occurring at a time when the US has record debt.

I'd say a much better solution would be to reduce our dependence on oil. How would the world be a different place, had Al Gore rightfully won the office.
 

Eldron

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Wurm said:
PSA's? Where the Big Oil co's get to screw the indiginous Iraqi population out of their birthright? Coming from someone who works for/with Big Oil, I'm not surprised at Eldron's stance.[/url]

I'd like to point out that the A in PSA stands for Agreement - as in Iraq will AGREE to sell it's oil. Plus there is the job creation, infrastructure, tertiary industry growth etc that will benefit the Iraqi people.

I work for/with the Big Oil? That's a surprise to me! I just checked the tag on the front of my building and it turns out I work for venture capitalist company with no interest in oil at all. I really didn't see that one coming...

I love the way you don't bother with facts when forming an opinion.


@poweredbysweat - agreed! Reducing dependance on fossil fuels should be the world's number one priority right now. I think the PSA's will be a good thing IF they are done fairly. Iraq needs money right now - america will provide capital to get the oil out of the ground with Iraq getting some (how much I ask?) of the profits. It should pave the way for us troop removal. With the profits from the oil Iraq can create infrastrucure, create it's security force (army?), get schools/unis/hospitals etc going. What Iraq needs to be independant is money - I have concerns about the PSA's but it sounds like a solution to the Iraqi problem.
 

poweredbysweat

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Eldron said:
What Iraq needs to be independant is money - I have concerns about the PSA's but it sounds like a solution to the Iraqi problem.
Iraq could easily sell their oil on the International market, and for more than the US is willing to pay with our deflated dollar. My opinion is that, from the beginning, this war was about taking control of Iraqi oil. Terrorism was merely a front.
 

Eldron

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poweredbysweat said:
Iraq could easily sell their oil on the International market, and for more than the US is willing to pay with our deflated dollar. My opinion is that, from the beginning, this war was about taking control of Iraqi oil. Terrorism was merely a front.

Agreed again.

This war was only ever about controlling Iraqi oil and breaking OPEC's monopoly. From a moral point of view it makes me sick - from a financial/economic point of view I'm really happy. I'd much rather buy my oil from a capitalist that values my dollar/euro/rand more than my background/religious stand point/skin colour. PSA's will allow me to buy cheap oil - I have no problem with that.
 

Wurm

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Eldron said:
I'd like to point out that the A in PSA stands for Agreement - as in Iraq will AGREE to sell it's oil. Plus there is the job creation, infrastructure, tertiary industry growth etc that will benefit the Iraqi people.

I work for/with the Big Oil? That's a surprise to me! I just checked the tag on the front of my building and it turns out I work for venture capitalist company with no interest in oil at all. I really didn't see that one coming...

I love the way you don't bother with facts when forming an opinion.
I think "bothering with facts" is something I'm known for around here, although ocasionally I make mistakes. I think I have you mixed up on this with Eoin.

PSA's being an "agreement" as you say would only be an agreement by an Iraqi gov't that is clearly a BushCo puppet. It cannot be seriously argued that the majority of the Iraqi people are willing to give up 3/4 of the profit margin of their oil resources to foreign oil companies.

To spin it otherwise as you are prone to do Eldron is disingenuous at best.
 

Eldron

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Wurm said:
I think "bothering with facts" is something I'm known for around here, although ocasionally I make mistakes. I think I have you mixed up on this with Eoin.

PSA's being an "agreement" as you say would only be an agreement by an Iraqi gov't that is clearly a BushCo puppet. It cannot be seriously argued that the majority of the Iraqi people are willing to give up 3/4 of the profit margin of their oil resources to foreign oil companies.

To spin it otherwise as you are prone to do Eldron is disingenuous at best.

Interesting that you use the word spin - where did you get the 3/4 figure from? I guess you "spun" it right? Or it could be you "bothering with facts" again...

"Clearly a BuchCo puppet"? Would that be "bothering with fact" or more spinning?

To use the age olde expression. Pot. Kettle. Black.

PSA's are probably the only solution to a problem that was completely the US' making. If I were you I'd support them - although I guess you never would - what would you have to ***** & moan about if the US made right their error by creating a semi self dependant Iraq?
 

Wurm

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Eldron said:
Interesting that you use the word spin - where did you get the 3/4 figure from? I guess you "spun" it right? Or it could be you "bothering with facts" again...
No, that would be you not bothering to comprehend the facts:

"the provision’s backers say the 75 percent take on the profits will go on until drilling costs have been recouped. Err, that could take a couple of years right? After that, the Oil Boyz would skim about 20 percent of the profits. But that will double the industry skim for such deals."


Eldron said:
"Clearly a BuchCo puppet"? Would that be "bothering with fact" or more spinning?
And now you're going to tell us that the Maliki gov't (or any "gov't" since Saddam) is an independent gov't/not a puppet regime, while 140,000+ foreign troops are fighting in and occupying its country??

banghead.gif


There's being disingenuous, and then there's being just plain stupid.


Eldron said:
PSA's are probably the only solution to a problem that was completely the US' making. If I were you I'd support them - although I guess you never would - what would you have to ***** & moan about if the US made right their error by creating a semi self dependant Iraq?
Only solution? Hardly. How about this:

1- Bu$hCo leaves Iraq.
2- Iraq sorts out its own problems.
3- Iraqi people/gov't nationalizes oil industry and keeps 100% of the profits instead of just 25%, even if there are eventually 2 or 3 separate "Iraqs".

No, we can't have that can we? No more than UK & US would have Iran's oil nationalized in the 1950's - so they created a coup and installed the Shah.