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Iraq said not to favor U.S. firms to develop oil fields


Iran is pressuring Iraqi authorities to exclude U.S. oil majors from contracts to develop the country’s massive oil fields, sources at the Oil Ministry said. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the authorities currently favor Chinese and Russian companies to those of the United States. Their remarks come following a contract the ministry signed last month with China’s state-owned oil firm CNPC... Analysts say it is difficult today for any major development, whether economic or political, to take place in Iraq without Iranian consent. Iran has emerged as the country’s top trading partner. Its firms are present in the Kurdish north and southern Iraq carrying out projects worth billions of dollars. Iranian goods are the most conspicuous merchandise in Iraqi shops. Iraq, though occupied and administered by America, has grown to be so pendent on Iran that some analysts see it as a satellite state of Tehran...

[46944]



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Iraq said not to favor U.S. firms to develop oil fields

Azzaman

September 3, 2008


Iran is pressuring Iraqi authorities to exclude U.S. oil majors from contracts to develop the country’s massive oil fields, sources at the Oil Ministry said.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the authorities currently favor Chinese and Russian companies to those of the United States.

Their remarks come following a contract the ministry signed last month with China’s state-owned oil firm CNPC.

The $3bn oil services contract is a renegotiated deal of the Ahdad oilfield which CNPC had agreed to develop in 1977.

China is the first country to win such a contract since the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country.

Russia had also signed a deal in 1977 to develop West of Qurna, one of Iraq’s largest fields with reserves estimated at billions of barrels.

It is not clear how much influence Iran had in persuading the government to renegotiate CNPC’s 1997 contract.

The Ministry of Oil and other key portfolios such the Ministry of Interior and Finance are in the hands of pro-Iran Shiite factions.

Analysts say it is difficult today for any major development, whether economic or political, to take place in Iraq without Iranian consent.

Iran has emerged as the country’s top trading partner. Its firms are present in the Kurdish north and southern Iraq carrying out projects worth billions of dollars.

Iranian goods are the most conspicuous merchandise in Iraqi shops.

Iraq, though occupied and administered by America, has grown to be so pendent on Iran that some analysts see it as a satellite state of Tehran.





:: Article nr. 46944 sent on 04-sep-2008 16:10 ECT

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Link: www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2008-09-03\kurd.htm



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