It could be the ultimate irony for millions of people who opposed the illegal war in Iraq – within months when they switch on their heating or their cooker, they could be burning Iraqi gas. Their homes could be heated by the spoils of war.
Yesterday Shell signed a $4 billion gas deal – the first significant post-war energy deal –which analysts are saying could see liquefied natural gas coming to Continental Europe and Britain.
In the agreement, Shell has established a joint venture with the South Gas Company in the Basra district of southern Iraq to process and market natural gas extracted on 19,000 sq km (7,300 sq miles) of land.
“Iraq has one of the world’s largest natural gas resource bases and I am delighted that the Iraqi government, including the Ministry of Oil, have supported Shell as the partner for joint venture with the South Gas Company,” Linda Cook, executive director of Shell told the Guardian.
Although the joint venture will initially focus on local markets, Shell has conceded that “in the future the [joint venture] could develop a liquefied natural gas facility to export natural gas not needed for local domestic use.” This could mean markets in the Mediterranean and possibly Britain.
It means that you may have opposed the illegal occupation, but everytime you switch on the lights the Iraqi conflict could be in your home.