The world’s biggest oil companies are today bidding for the rights to Iraq’s largest undeveloped oil fields, the second largest proven reserve in the world.
With a total of 45 firms vying for contracts on 15 oilfields, including three of the world’s largest, the deals have the potential to boost Iraq’s capacity by millions of barrels per day and make it a rival to top oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The 20-year contracts will give the oil firms, which range from large Western companies to state-owned giants from India and China, access to cheap Middle East oil reserves.
Companies such as Royal Dutch Shell and Total, along with Chevron and ConocoPhillips, will be rubbing their hands with glee at the opening of Iraq’s oilfields, offering opportunities to print money in the Middle East’s biggest reserves.
You can almost see the dollars flashing before their very eyes, the chance to tap Iraq’s fields, which have been closed to foreigners since 1972, when Saddam Hussein, then the vicepresident, nationalised Iraq’s oil industry are now open to the free market, and with it the flight of capital.
Will the people of Iraq see any benefit from the wealth that lies under their feet?
Also on the auction block were the Halfaya and East Baghdad fields – part of which lies under the Sadr City area of the capital – and the Eastern Fields in Diyala province.
Bids were also invited for the Qayara reservoir in the northern province of Nineveh, where resistance fighters are known to operate and disputes between Arabs and Kurds have led to considerable tension.
Fields in Iraq like West Qurna and Majnoon are world class and they are undeveloped. That kind of return seems worth some risk if you think you can manage it
Business is all about mitigating and managing risk, as the quotable from Adam Sieminski, an analyst at Deutsche Bank states.
Christophe de Margerie, Total’s chief executive, called the volumes “crazy”. He said:
“We know there’s a potential to maybe reach 7m to 8m barrels some day, and that alone would be a tremendous success.”
Success for whom?
The war of terror was a damn lie from the get go, this was always about controlling energy supplies.
The bullshit excuse of the money will used by the
Iraqi oil ministry Americans to rebuild the country is a lie that we should all be able to see straight through.
The corrupt and acquiesced puppet leaders in Iraq will cream off any crumbs thrown down to them from their masters, and when the people inevitably revolt through armed resistance to get what they are owed, it will be written off as some al-CIAda terrorists who are standing in the way of the country’s modernisation.