Any thoughts on the proprosed oil deal with Iraq's Kurds & Hunt Oil?
The New York Times is reporting that the Iraqi oil minister (Hussain-al-Shahristani) is having major problems with a drafted law to govern Iraq's oil fields because the northern Kurds are signing international agreements to trade their oil independently.
Surprise, (or is it?), a major international proposed contract is with the Hunt Oil Company from Dallas.
What do you think the U.S. involvement is in this?
Iraq will not be able to govern itself if they cannot agree on how to handle their huge oil industry. We're TOLD that the Bush administration encourages the Iraqi government to exercise control of their own country so why are they allowing the private contracts. I smell a rat.
- sagacious_nessLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Well, the Kurds have objected all along to the proposed Iraq Oil Law, which would nationalize Iraq's oil industry. They want to retain regional authority rather than turn over contracting rights to the Central government, or more accurately, the Federal Oil and Gas Council (made up of representatives from the foreign oil companies). Either way, they would be handing over control and contracting rights to entities in which they would have a minority voice, and it's a definite blow to the authority and progress of the Iraq Central Government. That said, I see two possible scenarios:
1. Perhaps the Kurds are hoping this move will prevent or delay the Iraq Oil Law being passed in its current form. If so, this contract could give them better leverage to block passage and renegotiate an alternative proposal that could 'grandfather' an existing contract with Hunt Oil.
2. Perhaps they see that approval of the Iraq Oil Law, in it's current form is emminent and inevitable. If so, perhaps they're hoping to slip the Hunt Oil contract 'under the wire'.
3. Looking at it from the US angle, Hunt Oil is a closely held, family-owned company... with a reputation for taking risks and some interesting political connections. This is just speculation based upon a couple of obscure sources I got theough Google. I'm not familiar with these sources to know where they'd fall on a credibility scale, so just tossing it out there:
**NOTE: Above sources linked to Google cache, so 'juicy parts' are highlighted.
The Iraqi Hydrocarbons Law, more commonly known as the Iraq Oil Law. The Republicans drafted it, the Democrat-controlled Congress made signing it as a condition for continued reconstruction aid. It's not a partisan issue, passage of the Iraq Oil Law is one of the 18 milestones for the Surge, so basically the US is holding Iraq hostage for their oil.
The Iraq Oil Law (Highlights):
-- The law would change Iraq's oil system from a nationalized model -- all but closed to U.S. oil companies -- to a privatized model open to foreign corporate control.
-- At least two-thirds of Iraq's oil would be open to foreign oil companies
-- Iraq National Oil Company would have exclusive control of only about 17 of Iraq's approximately 80 known oil fields. Remainder controlled by foreign interests.
-- Allows foreign interests (mainly US and Britain) to take 50% control of Iraq's oil reserves and takes control away from, thus destabilizes, the Iraq federal central government.
-- US oil companies can exercise long-term (30+ year) contracts without approval by the Iraqi Government
-- Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) give foreign firms 70 per cent of the oil revenues to recover their initial investments and subsequently allow them 20 per cent of the profits without any tax or restrictions on the transferring of funds abroad."
-- Federal Oil and Gas Council (representatives from the foreign oil companies), not the Iraqi government, will have authority to approve (their own) contracts.
-- The Council, not Iraq government, will control production levels, so Iraq cannot be a part of OPEC anymore.
-- Foreign companies would not have to invest their earnings in Iraq, hire Iraqi workers, or partner with Iraqi companies."
-- The Iraqi government would not have control over oil company operations inside Iraq. Any disputes would be referred instead to pro-industry international arbitration panels.
-- No contracts would be public documents
Iraqi "Hydrocarbon Law" - This version passed the Iraq Cabinet, and was referred to the Parliament:
Despite increased pressure from the Bush administration, the Iraq Parliament has stalled the vote until September. There has been increased objections to the Oil Law from Iraqi citizens.
-- Poll: 63% of Iraqis Oppose Privatizing Nation's Oil Resources.
-- Iraq's Government Faces Political Paralysis":
-- U.S. Steelworkers Back Striking Iraqi Oil Workers:
-- -- Kurds and Sunnis have concerns about Iraqi oil legislation:
-- Governor and Police Chief Killed in Diwaniya
"Reuters reports the Shiite-dominated south has become increasingly restless as factions vie for control of the oil-rich region, often pitting police loyal to one bloc against militiamen of others."Source(s): -- Hunt Oil Skirts Baghdad, Signs Deal with Kurds http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=49983 -- Iraq Oil Min: Hunt Oil Deal with Kurd Government Illegal http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=49996
- 4 years ago
Black Water U.S.A.for mercenary contracts, into the pocketts of the person overseeing the investigation into the dissapearance of the money and of American along with Iraqi Officials. To hire Death Squads to kill people of which 150,000 all Iraqis have been so far under The Salvador Option. The news when it did mention this put it down to Sectarian Strife but everyone knows how a Counter Insurgency as it is called is done.
- 1 decade ago
I had a thought -yes. But then I turned on Fox news and learned that that was a naughty no-no.
So I thoughts no more...
- mbush40Lv 61 decade ago
I do too, a rat without link.