Sunday, January 07, 2007

Escalate For Oil

Looks like Big Oil is getting close to getting their greasy paws on Iraqi oil. Via The Independent:

Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's most precious commodity

The 'IoS' today reveals a draft for a new law that would give Western oil companies a massive share in the third largest reserves in the world. To the victors, the oil? That is how some experts view this unprecedented arrangement with a major Middle East oil producer that guarantees investors huge profits for the next 30 years


Now, the cliff notes on this story revolve around "production sharing agreements" or PSA's. Usually a company that has the expertise in developing reserves retains a share of the profits for their work.

Nothing wrong with that. But these agreements nearly double the standard amount developers keep, both in the initial investment phase and in the later, easy money phase. Also these agreements are reportedly for thirty years in length, and all disputes would be settled by international law.

It raises the question of corporations taking advantage of Iraq's weakened state, and flies in the face, once again, of rightwing talking points:

"Oil revenues, which people falsely claim that we want to seize, should be put in a trust fund for the Iraqi people"

Tony Blair; Moving motion for war with Iraq, 18 March 2003

"Oil belongs to the Iraqi people; the government has... to be good stewards of that valuable asset "

George Bush; Press conference, 14 June 2006

"The oil of the Iraqi people... is their wealth. We did not [invade Iraq] for oil "

Colin Powell; Press briefing, 10 July 2003

"Oil revenues of Iraq could bring between $50bn and $100bn in two or three years... [Iraq] can finance its reconstruction"

Paul Wolfowitz; Deputy Defense Secretary, March 2003

"By 2010 we will need [a further] 50 million barrels a day. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies"

Dick Cheney; US Vice-President, 1999

Okay, so shooterfaceguy was actually shooting straight. But while they try to exploit the oil we did not fight for in Iraq, what is the plan for oil coming out of Iran? From Kim Murphy at the LA Times:
The efforts by the United States and its allies over the last few months to persuade international banks and oil companies to pull out of Iran threaten dozens of projects, including development of Iran's two massive new oil fields that could expand output by 800,000 barrels a day over the next four years.

"Many European banks which had accepted financing some oil industries projects have recently canceled them," Nejad-Hosseinian said.

American Imperialism at work. Dollar Diplomacy has come a long ways.

(h/t to DPD)

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