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Who Will Get Iraq?s petroleum?

The largest American petroleum companies conduct intensive consultations with the leaders of the Iraq?s opposition from the West, who support authorities of USA. In the center of negotiations is the future of Iraq?s petroleum industry.

The largest American petroleum companies conduct intensive consultations with the leaders of the Iraq?s opposition from the West, who support authorities of USA. In the center of negotiations is the future of Iraq?s petroleum industry.

In November in Washington was held the confidential meeting of representatives of three leading oil-extracting companies of USA with Iraqi group headed by the leader of Iraq?s national congress, Ahmed Chaliabi.

The American Fund of heritage has prepared for George Bush's administration the special report on the future strategy of Washington concerning Iraq after Saddam Hussein's overthrow. The document contains positions concerning privatization of the Iraq?s petroleum industry. Except for that it is supposed, that the new government of Iraq does not have to fulfill the agreements concerning development of national petroleum industry of the country, which were concluded with other countries before.

Three Russian companies LUKOIL, Zarubezhneft, Mashinoimport have received the letter signed by the Iraq?s deputy minister of petroleum stating that Iraq cancels the contract on petroleum deposit of Western Kurna.

The Ambassador of Iraq in the Russian Federation, doctor Abbas Halaf, has informed about it. As he said, " the reason is the fact, that since the moment of conclusion of the contract on oil recovery in the area of Western Kurna in 1997, "LUKOIL" didn?t work in Iraq". The missive was directed today to the head of LUKOIL company, Vagit Alekperov, and also to the Ministry of energy of the Russian Federation, has informed Abbas Halaf. Iraq has named the reason - inability of the Russian party to carry out obligations on development of the deposit.

Cost of the developmental contract of Iraq?s petroleum deposits is estimated in 20 billion dollars. In case of removal of sanctions against Iraq LUKOIL could within three years increase extraction in deposit of Western Kurna up to 30 million tons. The deposit in Western Kurna is the largest in Iraq among offered for development to the foreign companies.

The consortium, which was supposed to develop it, except for LUKOIL, Zarubezhneft and Mashinoimport, includes also the Western firms. The decision to terminate the contract was accepted December9.

The matter is that the 12-years embargo imposed by the United Nations on investments in the Iraq?s petroleum still is in force. Russian and Chinese oilmen have signed contracts beforehand and prepared to start development as soon as embargo is removed.

Moscow is afraid, that after military operation in Iraq former contracts will be cancelled, and American companies will get the Iraqi petroleum.

Author: Sergei Zanin

Source : Neftegaz.ru