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Chevron Reportedly in Talks to Tap Iraq's Oil
By David R. Baker
The San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday 25 March 2008
Chevron Corp. and other international oil companies are negotiating with the Iraq Ministry of Oil to begin tapping into some of the country's largest oil fields, according to published reports.
Specifically, the companies are negotiating for two-year contracts that would help Iraq boost production at existing oil fields.
For years, the companies have had their eyes on long-term contracts to find and develop new oil fields in Iraq, which is believed to hold the world's third-largest oil reserves. The contracts under discussion are far more limited than that, but they represent an important step in opening Iraq's oil industry to foreign involvement after years of state control.
San Ramon's Chevron already has held discussions with the Iraqi Oil Ministry about one of the short-term contracts, according to reports in the Associated Press, Dow Jones, Reuters and United Press International news services. BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Total also are pursuing the contracts.
Chevron won't confirm or deny those reports, a company spokesman said Monday. But Chevron has repeatedly expressed an interest in Iraq. The company has provided free technical training to Iraqi oil engineers in the five years since the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein.
"Generally, Chevron is interested in helping Iraq develop its industry, and we'd very much like to partner with them to help fulfill the government's production objectives," said spokesman Kurt Glaubitz.
The country's state-run oil industry has struggled with aging machinery and insurgent attacks on oil facilities since the invasion. Production averaged 2.4 million barrels per day in February, according to the Platts energy information service. Before the invasion, production averaged 2.5 million barrels per day.
But efforts to increase production and develop new fields have been stymied by Iraqi politics, as well as the widespread belief among Iraqis that the United States toppled Hussein to gain control of the country's oil.
Most of Iraq's known oil fields lie in the Kurdish north or the Shiite south. As a result, Sunnis who live in central Iraq worry that they could be cut out of any future oil boom. For several years, legislators from the three groups have argued over a proposed law that would divide oil revenue among the country's regions and set ground rules for foreign oil companies that want to work in Iraq.
The short-term contracts, called technical support agreements, may be an attempt by the Oil Ministry to make an end-run around legislators. The Iraqi Cabinet reportedly approved the move.
"It was a way to get things going without calling it a production agreement," said Frank Verrastro, director of the energy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "They've been sitting in abeyance for two years while oil prices have gone up. I think there's a growing realization (in the Iraqi government) that, 'Had we done this sooner, we'd be a lot better off today.'"
Under the technical support agreements, the oil companies would be providing studies, analysis, equipment and expertise at existing fields - not hunting for new ones. Exploring and developing new oil fields would require passage of the long-stalled oil law.
Chevron reportedly is negotiating for an agreement to help expand production at the West al-Qurna oil field, near Basra in southern Iraq. The ministry also wants to sign technical support agreements for the Rumaila and Zubair fields nearby, as well as the Kirkuk oil field in the north. And in what could be an effort to appease Sunnis, the ministry also said last weekend that it wants to develop the Akkas natural gas field in a Sunni-dominated corner of western Iraq.
The proposed oil law has often come under criticism from anti-war activists, who fear that the Iraqi government will be pressured into handing over too much control of its oil. The short-term agreements may not assuage those fears.
"My concern with these agreements is that they appear to be more than anything else a foot in the door, an opening for the oil companies while debate rages on over the long-term contracts," said Antonia Juhasz, author of "The Bush Agenda: Invading the World One Economy at a Time."
"It's for the Iraqis to decide the appropriate role of U.S. oil corporations in Iraq," she said. "The only time to be able to have this kind of negotiation is when there's no longer an occupation."
Mike Ivy you dont like the idea of US companys working to develop oil resources? That is what they do . The russian state oil company is aso in those negotiation with iraq. do you like that?
You lack the ability to formulate a cognitive thought. Where in the previous post did Mike express an opinion?
P.S. I'm just fooling with you. You and Karnack have much in common.
there you go once again, putting words in peoples mouths.
What this article shows is that the end results is
Exxon in negotiations, Chevon in negotiations and a little oil company in Texas [ sorry forgot their name]
Mike Ivy of course it is oil . In case you dont know and being a demonic you probably dont know. OIL is used to make gasoline, diesel fuel that is used in your car , used to bring the items you use in your everday life. Oil companys negociate with whoever owns the mineral rights to the oil for the right to develop those resoruces. Its nothing strange . Business like any other business. Its just that those are american companys which is what you people here detest . American.
All I know about oil companies is that they are gouging american citizens.
Well Duane very happy to hear you a Republican agree that the Iraq war is all about OIL. Us Democrates have been saying this since Buch made a left turn and went from Afghanistan [ still not completed mission] to take out Saddam. Oh and the reason he took out Saddam besides him being such a bad guy is that Saddam years ago threatened to have Bush Sr. kiled.
well Mike ivy if you demonics wouldnt stop every effort by AMERICAN oil companys from developing AMERICAN resources in alaska off the coast of florida California . Right now there is a lot of oild work being done in western Pa. and that is being done only beause the demonics dont control the resource.
If democ=rats did there wi=ould be no development at all.
The world price of oil is what the refinerys pay so it cost lots of money just for the oil. Not to mention refining costs transportation etc.
If th democrats get complete control of this country there will be no private property ,no one will own their own homes. It will be just like the old USSR was.
No items on the store shelves. The only ones owning anything will be the democrat elite Hillary Hanoi John, killer kennedy Barack Hussien Obama.
"I wouldn't drill off the coast of Florida unless the people of Florida wanted to. And I wouldn't drill off the coast of California unless the people of California wanted to. And I wouldn't drill in the Grand Canyon unless the people in Arizona wanted to."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz
The Florida ban on drilling within 125 miles of the coast was brought up in a Bill recently introduced by "The Bathroom Bandit" Larry Craig(R). It was quickly jumped on By Florida Senators Martinez(R) and Nelson(D)and the Senate Reaffirmed the no drill ban will stand.
I figure Some Republicans like Duane were heard shouting:
"The Sky is falling", "The Sky is falling!"
And the united states will run out of oil out of energy. and jinx will be dancing in the street when the united states is consigned to the scrap heap of history so his communist china Russia will be foremost in the world. the publicly owned areas like anwar are owned by all the people of the country . In anwar the people of alaska want to use that resource but it s the deonmics tat wont let it happen because they dont want the U S to survive .
You need to check yourself in voluntarily. That way you save your family members the embarrassment and hardship.
The only day that I dance in the streets is the day that Bush has his bags packed and is thumbing a ride back to PO-Donk,Texas.
Also I only quoted what McCain said. I agree with him on that and I'm glad that Duane will vote for him fully knowing how he stands on that issue.
As Forrest would say,,"Stupid is as Stupid Does"!
BTW- I'll ignore all the Commie stuff in his post, just comes from a very Frustrated Republican and I hope there not the same types of Frustrations that the "Bathroom Bandit" Larry Craig (R) has!