Yeah, those are the crickets on the blogosphere today after news comes out that there will be bidding on oil contracts in Iraq.
“But what about those no-bid contracts!?!?!?!?” Some of you are probably saying.
Here from the notoriously un-rightwing Yahoo News story Iraq opens bidding on 8 oil and natural gas fields:
Iraq opened international bidding for eight enormous oil and gas fields Monday, paving the way for investment in a nation with some of the world’s largest petroleum reserves.
If approved, contracts to update and manage those fields could involve the biggest foreign stake in Iraq since its oil industry was nationalized more than 30 years ago and help Iraq reach its goal of nearly doubling petroleum production by 2013.
“NO BIDS!!!!” Yes, still some of you are yelling. So here we go for some more Yahoo!:
the contracts won’t be signed for a year, and if Western firms win a dominant role it could feed perceptions that U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein to get at Iraq’s natural resources.
Those concerns were heightened by expectations that Iraq would announce short-term no-bid consulting contracts with five Western oil firms on Monday. The New York Times reported about two weeks ago that the firms included Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron and Total.
But Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani told a news conference Monday that the Iraqi government was still negotiating with the companies, which he did not identify. He said the firms were demanding a share of oil production while Iraq wants to pay in cash.
The minister said the short-term contracts were meant to boost production until the government awards longer-term deals next June. But some believe the consulting contracts could give the winning firms an advantage in bidding for the development contracts, which al-Shahristani said Monday would include 35 foreign companies.
The firms he named included seven from the U.S., three from Britain and others from Russia, China and other countries.
Al-Shahristani said the companies would be invited to bid on the oil fields of Rumeila, Zubair, Qurna West, Maysan, Kirkuk and Bay Hassan and the natural gas fields of Akkaz and Mansouriyah.
“These fields were chosen because their production can be raised in a short time and at a low cost,” said al-Shahristani.
He said even the longer-term contracts would include cash compensation and not a share of oil production.
So the oil companies are going to be there to manage the sites and bring in up-to-date technologies. They won’t get a share of the oil even for the long-term contracts.
And yet we are still going to hear the tired mantra “Bush’s wars were for oil!” (Usually with exclamation points because that makes their point oh so much more powerful).
“NO WAR FOR OIL WITH IRAN!” is going to be the next one. Well, it already is and has been. I guess since it is such a simplistic explanation many have attached themselves with it.
But how much have the oil companies made from these wars? If Iraq was all about getting our greedy little hands on their oil why didn’t we just take those fields? Why give anything away?
God, sometimes things like this just really piss me off. BigT
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