As protests start against Iraq’s controversial oil law, Shell has criticized the fact that progress on the law “doesn’t go very fast”. The oil company says it hopes Iraq will pass the law some time this year and sees this and improved security as prerequisites for being able to work there.

“You need basically two green lights before you can work…first of all you have to know the rules of the game,” CEO Jeroen van der Veer said yesterday. He told an Iraqi questioner he hoped the oil law would be passed this year “but it doesn’t go very fast.”

If this and the security requirement were met, then companies like Shell could create a “win-win situation” in Iraq, “but it needs those two conditions,” said van der Veer.

The trouble with Shell’s “win-win” scenario is that the people of Iraq lose out…

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  • News from June 18, 2008
    Iraqi energy experts have told Al Jazeera that oil and gas fields in the western Anbar province may soon begin pumping gas to European markets.

    “Shell is likely to be a top candidate for a deal to develop Akkas field. Shell has been active in Syria for 25 years and operates a joint venture with the Syrian Government with Chinese and Indian partners,” al-Ani told Al Jazeera.

    So maybe Shell’s interest in passage of the Iraqi Oil Law is related to their interest in the oil profits and nothing else. They seem to be the frontrunner for development of the field.

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