If you thought the new Iraqi government would govern Iraq for the people, well, I”m sorry. Think again. Good article on Alternet today about who controls Iraq’s oil fields. It quotes Antonia Juhasz, author of “The Bush Agenda,” who has undertaken her own research into Production Sharing Agreements – that were the subject of the report, Crude Designs, which was published by Oil Change International, amongst others.
In the Alternet article, Juhasz, says:
“The United States crafted a new oil law for Iraq that provided for production sharing agreements (PSAs), which are contractual terms between a government and a foreign corporation to explore for, produce and market oil. Production sharing agreements are not used by any country in the Middle East or, in fact, by any country that’s truly wealthy in oil. They’re used to entice investors into an area where the oil is expensive to produce or there isn’t a lot of oil.
“But Iraq’s oil reserves are very easy and cheap to get to. You essentially just stick a pipe in the ground and you get oil. There’s absolutely no reason for Iraq to enter into PSAs, but there’s every reason for Western oil companies to want them — they provide the best terms short of full privatization of the oil.
“[It’s estimated that] Iraq has 80 oil fields. Seventeen of them have been discovered. Under the new oil law — written into the constitution — those 17 will be under the control of the Iraqi national oil company.
“All undiscovered oil fields are now open to the PSAs. That means, depending on how much oil there is in Iraq, foreign companies will have control over at least 64 percent of Iraq’s oil and as much as 84 percent”.
Maybe that’s why Blair is in Iraq today, to tell those Iraqi politicians who is boss and who owns their oil. Because it is not the Iraqi poeple. He may have said Iraq has a “new start” with the new government but its already too late, the oil deals are already stitched up.