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The “Surge” to screw Iraq out of its oil February 16, 2007

Posted by infidelkafirwatch in Uncategorized.

Jerry Mazza
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

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 Dick 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? read more

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