Who Gets The Oil Drilling Contracts in Post-Saddam Iraq?

I just heard that the Kurdish provisional government (which will control Iraqui Kurdistan after Saddam is removed) will have open bidding on the drilling contracts. This portion of Iraq is said to contain huge reserves of petroleum and natural gas-the reserves may actually rival those of saudi Arabia!
So, given that the french oil companies are unlikely to participate (ELF and Schlumberger eat your hearts out!), who will get this bonanza?
Also, what will the effects (on the world oil markets be) when huge amounts of crude oil start to be pumped from these new wells?
Russia has a LOT to lose-their economy is being held up by the high prices they are getting for their oil…and the french (who have bought up contracts all around N Africa and the Middle East) are going to lose their shirts if a massive drop in crude oil prices ensues!
Could this be why France and Russia are so opposed to war with Iraq? Nah…it’s the French and Russian concern for the iraqui children! They are worried about the children!:smiley:

This is the line propagated in the US press. What else are they supposed to say?

The main reason Russia and France are against the proposed war on Iraq is the same reason almost the whole world is: It is illegal, immoral, and counterproductive.

Do you truly not understand this?

Um…Sure! Sure, that’s the reason! Of course!

Seriously, I’m pretty anti-war, and I think Dubya suffers from microdeckia. Even so I recognize that governments act more out expediency, and to protect the status-quo and preserve economic security far more often than they act out of altruism.

Do you truly not understand this?

Anyway, we’re drifting over to GD territory, and I don’t want to make Manny irate.

I did hear the other day on NPR that the Government was quietly taking bids from a few companies, including Dick Cheney’s old organization (for whom he was CEO) to rebuild Iraq. So I suppose they could well end up with first shot at the oil fields.

Didn’t the news just say that those oil fields have been mined & if those mines are set off, it could be 5 years or so to restore the oil fields–or something like that. Didn’t that happen before? For sale, ‘one used oil field, you fix’ :slight_smile:

Besides, I’m not sure there’s a discrete factual answer to the OP’s question anyway, just a lot of grey where it’s easy to forget we’re in GQ, and go off into forbidden (for GQ) speculation. Maybe re-state the question in GD?

Yes be cautious here folks, this is after all “GQ”…

I’ll try my Jedi mind trick…

Manhattan, this thread will be moved to Great Debates now…

The short answer is, those companies which will be able to show they can handle field development on a massive scale, which means about two dozen of the largest exploration and service companies, some American and some not. No one company could handle simultaneous development of all Iraqi petroleum assets.

There are, however, numerous contracts already in place for post-sanction development. Awarding this work to American companies would require tearing up these existing contracts. At first I found it hard to believe that even this administration would dare to try such a blatant asset grab, but given its apparent total disregard of international opinion, now I’m not so sure.

Here is an interesting summary of the current state of affairs in Iraq’s oil sector, from our own Energy Information Agency:


Note the passage that states the Iraqi Oil Ministry has become increasingly frustrated with various French and Russian operators who have signed major deals but refused to start work because of cencern over possibly violating sanctions. The article seems to suggest that the Oil Ministry is on the verge of kicking them out anyway. Factual? Carefully-placed pro-US agitprop? Who the heck knows?

BTW, Elf is now TotalFinaElf, and Schlumberger is at least as much an American company as it is French.