July 2, 2009
Why Big Oil Declined Iraq's Riches
Vivienne Walt, Time
Any notion that the invasion of Iraq was simply an oil grab took another hit on Tuesday when Baghdad opened the bidding on the rights to develop its massive energy reserves. In a day-long auction of eight huge oil fields — some of the world's biggest — virtually all the 41 foreign companies invited to bid by the Iraqi government balked at the Baghdad terms. The only contract signed was a 20-year deal for a consortium led by BP and China's National Petroleum Corporation to develop the giant Rumaila field in southern Iraq. "Frankly I did not think it would be such a fiasco and embarrassment for the government," says Rochdi Younsi, Director of Middle East and Africa for the Eurasia Group in Washington. "It shows the level of disconnect between the Ministry of Oil and the oil...
TAGGED: Baghdad, Iraq, massive energy reserves, huge oil fields, oil grab