BP and Iraqi Oil

August 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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BP And
Iraqi Oil

London gained access to a leaked copy of a contract between BP and the
Iraqi government which reveals the extent to which the company has gained
control over Iraq’s resources. New Left Project writes

BP was awarded the 20-year deal at an auction in June 2009, but
suspicions were raised when the company did not sign the contract until four
months later. The Iraqi government said nothing had changed in the interim,
only “clarifications” – claims that the leaked contract show not to be true.

obtained from a reliable source a version of the Rumaila contract with BP/CNPC
dated 8 October 2009. This leaked version was compared with the official model
contract, dated 23 April 2009, which formed the basis of the first bid
round.Several key changes were made, including:

> BP could opt to be paid for oil not produced
as a result of OPEC quotas or Iraqi infrastructure bottlenecks. In the model
contract for which companies bid at the auction, the cost of such scenarios
would have been shared by both sides.

> The threshold for BP’s project expenditure at
which Iraqi approval was required was raised from $50m to $100m and tight time
limits applied to Iraqis’ ability to check such expenditures are legitimate and
not inflated.

The changes that took place behind closed doors at
first look like technical details. But look more closely and you see their real
meaning: BP, not the Iraqi government, will effectively control future rates of
production. This gives the company a stranglehold on the Iraqi economy.

Also revealed today:

In April 2009, just two months before the auction
at which BP won the contract, Iraqi Ministry of Oil officials sought training
on commercial and negotiating skills – from BP, the very company with which it would
be negotiating.

When parliamentarians called the Oil Minister in
for questionning on the contract, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wrote
privately to the speaker of parliament calling for him to block the it, on
grounds that the questionning would hold back Iraq’s progress, in a way that
would be “in harmony” with recent terrorist bombings in Baghdad.


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