Friday, April 06, 2007

So this war was for BIG US OIL huh?

NEW YORK ( -- Despite claims by some critics that the Bush administration invaded Iraq to take control of its oil, the first contracts with major oil firms from Iraq's new government are likely to go not to U.S. companies, but rather to companies from China, India, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

While Iraqi lawmakers struggle to pass an agreement on exactly who will award the contracts and how the revenue will be shared, experts say a draft version that passed the cabinet earlier this year will likely uphold agreements previously signed by those countries under Saddam Hussein's government.

"The Chinese could announce something within the next few months" if all goes well with the oil law, said James Placke, a senior associate at Cambridge Energy Research Associates who specializes in the Middle East.

The Asian firms are at an advantage for several reasons.

First, less constrained by Western sanctions during the Hussein regime, they've been operating in Iraq and know the country's oilfields, said Falah Aljibury, an energy analyst who has advised several Iraqi oil ministers as well as other OPEC nations.

Aljibury said the first contracts likely awarded will be to the Chinese in the south central part of Iraq, the Vietnamese in the south, the Indians along the Kuwaiti border, and the Indonesians in the western desert.

Kinda throws a wrench in those anti-war protesters no?

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