L'Iraq obbligato a lasciare il controllo dei campi petroliferi alla imprese straniere.

qui si voleva arrivare ...liberando l'Iraq!!
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L'Iraq obbligato a lasciare il controllo dei campi petroliferi alla 
imprese straniere.
qui si voleva arrivare ...liberando l'Iraq!!

To see this story with its related links on the The Observer site, go 
to http://www.observer.co.uk

Iraq poised to hand control of oil fields to foreign firms
Baghdad under pressure from Britain to pass a law giving 
multinationals rights to the country's reserves
Heather Stewart, economics correspondent
Sunday February 25 2007
The Observer

Baghdad is under pressure from Britain and the US to pass an oil law 
which would hand long-term control of Iraq's energy assets to foreign 
multinationals, according to campaigners.

Iraqi trades unions have called for the country's oil reserves - the 
second-largest in the world - to be kept in public hands. But a leaked 
draft of the oil law, seen by The Observer, would see the government 
sign away the right to exploit its untapped fields in so-called 
exploration contracts, which could then be extended for more than 30 

Foreign Office minister Kim Howells has admitted that the government 
has discussed the wording of the Iraqi law with Britain's oil giants.

In a written answer to a parliamentary question, from Labour's Alan 
Simpson, Howells said: 'These exchanges have included discussion of 
Iraq's evolving hydrocarbons legislation where British international 
oil companies have valuable perspectives to offer based on their 
experience in other countries.' The talks had covered 'the range of 
contract types which Iraq is considering'.

Control of oil is an explosive political issue in Iraq. Hasan Jumah 
Awwad al-Asadi, leader of the country's oil workers' union formed after 
the invasion in 2003, warned this month: 'History will not forgive 
those who play recklessly with the wealth and destiny of a people.'

With much of the country on the brink of civil war, and a fractious 
government in Baghdad, campaigners say Iraq is in a poor position to 
negotiate with foreign oil firms. 'Iraq is under occupation and its 
people are facing relentless insecurity and crippling poverty. Yet, 
with the support of our government, multinationals are poised to take 
control of Iraq's oil wealth,' said Ruth Tanner, senior campaigner at 
War On Want.

The law, which is being discussed by the Iraqi cabinet before being 
put to the parliament, says the untapped oil would remain state-owned 
but that contracts would be drawn up giving private sector firms the 
exclusive right to extract it.

'There is this fine line, that the wording is seeking to draw, that 
allows companies to claim that the oil is still Iraqi oil, whereas the 
extraction rights belong to the oil companies,' says Kamil Mahdi, an 
Iraqi economist at Exeter University. He criticised the US and Britain, 
saying: 'The whole idea of the law is due to external pressure. The law 
is no protection against corruption, or against weakness of government. 
It's not a recipe for stability.'

Simpson said 'This confirms the view of those who have said all along 
that the war in Iraq was not about weapons of mass destruction, but the 
control of the levers of mass production ... This is a cartel carve-up 
by the occupying powers.'

Oil production in Iraq has slipped to below two million barrels a day 
- less than before the invasion - and Britain and the US argue that 
Iraq urgently needs foreign investment to boost output. But Ewa 
Jasiewicz, of campaign group Platform, said all the other Gulf states 
had kept production in government hands. 'Iraq could borrow the money 
to develop its industry, and pay that off through oil revenues.'

Copyright Guardian News and Media Limited

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