TADHAMUN تـضـامـن

Tadhamun (solidarity) is an Iraqi women organization, standing by Iraqi women's struggle against sectarian politics in Iraq. Fighting for equal citizenship across ethnicities and religions, for human rights, and gender equality.

جمعية تضامن تدعم المساواة في المواطنة بغض النظر عن الأنتماء الأثني أو الديني وتسعى من أجل العدالة الأجتماعية و حماية حقوق الأنسان في العراق

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Deals With Iraq Are Set to Bring Oil Giants Back

NewYork Times
Published: June 19, 2008

BAGHDAD — Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.
The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations.

The no-bid contracts are unusual for the industry, and the offers prevailed over others by more than 40 companies, including companies in Russia, China and India. The contracts, which would run for one to two years and are relatively small by industry standards, would nonetheless give the companies an advantage in bidding on future contracts in a country that many experts consider to be the best hope for a large-scale increase in oil production.

There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to war in Iraq precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract. The Bush administration has said that the war was necessary to combat terrorism. It is not clear what role the United States played in awarding the contracts; there are still American advisers to Iraq’s Oil Ministry.

Sensitive to the appearance that they were profiting from the war and already under pressure because of record high oil prices, senior officials of two of the companies, speaking only on the condition that they not be identified, said they were helping Iraq rebuild its decrepit oil industry.
For an industry being frozen out of new ventures in the world’s dominant oil-producing countries, from Russia to Venezuela, Iraq offers a rare and prized opportunity.

While enriched by $140 per barrel oil, the oil majors are also struggling to replace their reserves as ever more of the world’s oil patch becomes off limits. Governments in countries like Bolivia and Venezuela are nationalizing their oil industries or seeking a larger share of the record profits for their national budgets. Russia and Kazakhstan have forced the major companies to renegotiate contracts.

The Iraqi government’s stated goal in inviting back the major companies is to increase oil production by half a million barrels per day by attracting modern technology and expertise to oil fields now desperately short of both. The revenue would be used for reconstruction, although the Iraqi government has had trouble spending the oil revenues it now has, in part because of bureaucratic inefficiency.
For the American government, increasing output in Iraq, as elsewhere, serves the foreign policy goal of increasing oil production globally to alleviate the exceptionally tight supply that is a cause of soaring prices.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry, through a spokesman, said the no-bid contracts were a stop-gap measure to bring modern skills into the fields while the oil law was pending in Parliament.
It said the companies had been chosen because they had been advising the ministry without charge for two years before being awarded the contracts, and because these companies had the needed technology.

A Shell spokeswoman hinted at the kind of work the companies might be engaged in. “We can confirm that we have submitted a conceptual proposal to the Iraqi authorities to minimize current and future gas flaring in the south through gas gathering and utilization,” said the spokeswoman, Marnie Funk. “The contents of the proposal are confidential.”
While small, the deals hold great promise for the companies.
“The bigger prize everybody is waiting for is development of the giant new fields,” Leila Benali, an authority on Middle East oil at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, said in a telephone interview from the firm’s Paris office. The current contracts, she said, are a “foothold” in Iraq for companies striving for these longer-term deals.

Any Western oil official who comes to Iraq would require heavy security, exposing the companies to all the same logistical nightmares that have hampered previous attempts, often undertaken at huge cost, to rebuild Iraq’s oil infrastructure.

And work in the deserts and swamps that contain much of Iraq’s oil reserves would be virtually impossible unless carried out solely by Iraqi subcontractors, who would likely be threatened by insurgents for cooperating with Western companies.
Yet at today’s oil prices, there is no shortage of companies coveting a contract in Iraq. It is not only one of the few countries where oil reserves are up for grabs, but also one of the few that is viewed within the industry as having considerable potential to rapidly increase production.

David Fyfe, a Middle East analyst at the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based group that monitors oil production for the developed countries, said he believed that Iraq’s output could increase to about 3 million barrels a day from its current 2.5 million, though it would probably take longer than the six months the Oil Ministry estimated.
Mr. Fyfe’s organization estimated that repair work on existing fields could bring Iraq’s output up to roughly four million barrels per day within several years. After new fields are tapped, Iraq is expected to reach a plateau of about six million barrels per day, Mr. Fyfe said, which could suppress current world oil prices.

The contracts, the two oil company officials said, are a continuation of work the companies had been conducting here to assist the Oil Ministry under two-year-old memorandums of understanding. The companies provided free advice and training to the Iraqis. This relationship with the ministry, said company officials and an American diplomat, was a reason the contracts were not opened to competitive bidding.
A total of 46 companies, including the leading oil companies of China, India and Russia, had memorandums of understanding with the Oil Ministry, yet were not awarded contracts.

The no-bid deals are structured as service contracts. The companies will be paid for their work, rather than offered a license to the oil deposits. As such, they do not require the passage of an oil law setting out terms for competitive bidding. The legislation has been stalled by disputes among Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish parties over revenue sharing and other conditions.
The first oil contracts for the majors in Iraq are exceptional for the oil industry.

They include a provision that could allow the companies to reap large profits at today’s prices: the ministry and companies are negotiating payment in oil rather than cash.
“These are not actually service contracts,” Ms. Benali said. “They were designed to circumvent the legislative stalemate” and bring Western companies with experience managing large projects into Iraq before the passage of the oil law.

A clause in the draft contracts would allow the companies to match bids from competing companies to retain the work once it is opened to bidding, according to the Iraq country manager for a major oil company who did not consent to be cited publicly discussing the terms.
Assem Jihad, the Oil Ministry spokesman, said the ministry chose companies it was comfortable working with under the charitable memorandum of understanding agreements, and for their technical prowess. “Because of that, they got the priority,” he said.
In all cases but one, the same company that had provided free advice to the ministry for work on a specific field was offered the technical support contract for that field, one of the companies’ officials said.

The exception is the West Qurna field in southern Iraq, outside Basra. There, the Russian company Lukoil, which claims a Hussein-era contract for the field, had been providing free training to Iraqi engineers, but a consortium of Chevron and Total, a French company, was offered the contract. A spokesman for Lukoil declined to comment.
Charles Ries, the chief economic official in the American Embassy in Baghdad, described the no-bid contracts as a bridging mechanism to bring modern technology into the fields before the oil law was passed, and as an extension of the earlier work without charge.

To be sure, these are not the first foreign oil contracts in Iraq, and all have proved contentious.
The Kurdistan regional government, which in many respects functions as an independent entity in northern Iraq, has concluded a number of deals. Hunt Oil Company of Dallas, for example, signed a production-sharing agreement with the regional government last fall, though its legality is questioned by the central Iraqi government. The technical support agreements, however, are the first commercial work by the major oil companies in Iraq.

The impact, experts say, could be remarkable increases in Iraqi oil output.

While the current contracts are unrelated to the companies’ previous work in Iraq, in a twist of corporate history for some of the world’s largest companies, all four oil majors that had lost their concessions in Iraq are now back.
But a spokesman for Exxon said the company’s approach to Iraq was no different from its work elsewhere.
“Consistent with our longstanding, global business strategy, ExxonMobil would pursue business opportunities as they arise in Iraq, just as we would in other countries in which we are permitted to operate,” the spokesman, Len D’Eramo, said in an e-mailed statement.
But the company is clearly aware of the history. In an interview with Newsweek last fall, the former chief executive of Exxon, Lee Raymond, praised Iraq’s potential as an oil-producing country and added that Exxon was in a position to know. “There is an enormous amount of oil in Iraq,” Mr. Raymond said. “We were part of the consortium, the four companies that were there when Saddam Hussein threw us out, and we basically had the whole country.”

James Glanz and Jad Mouawad contributed reporting from New York.

هيرالد تربيون: أربع شركات نفطية غربية في المراحل الأخيرة من توقيع عقود مع العراق

بغداد - اصوات العراق
19 /06 /2008 الساعة 11:54:58

ذكرت صحيفة انترناشنال هيرالد تربيون International Herald Tribune
الأميركية الخميس أن أربع شركات غربية هي الآن في المراحل الأخيرة من مفاوضات تجري هذا الشهر بصدد عقود ستدخلها إلى العمل في العراق في مستوى تقديم خبرات وتكنولوجيا حديثة.
وقالت الصحيفة أن "اكسن موبايل Exxon Mobil وشل Shell وتوتال Total ومجموعة بي بي BP ـ وهم الشركاء الأصليون في شركة نفط العراق Iraq Petroleum Company ـ إلى جانب شيفرون Chevron وعدد من الشركات النفطية الصغيرة، تجري الآن محادثات مع وزارة النفط العراقية بشأن عقود تقديم خدمات لأكبر الحقول النفطية في العراق، حسب ما ذكر مسؤولون في الوزارة ومسؤولون في شركة النفط ودبلوماسي أميركي".
وأضافت "ستضع هذه الصفقات التي يتوقع الإعلان عنها في 30 من يونيو حزيران الجاري، الأساس لأول عمل تجاري لشركات كبرى في العراق منذ الغزو الأميركي وتفتح بابا جديدا لإرباح من عملياتها في العراق".وذكرت الصحيفة أن "هذه الشركات رشحت من بين عروض قدمها ما يزيد عن 40 شركة من بينها روسية وصينية وهندية، وهذه العقود التي تدوم من سنة إلى سنتين وتعد صغيرة نسبيا بالقياس إلى معايير الصناعة النفطية من شأنها ان توفر للشركات فائدة من خلال تفضيلها في التقديم إلى عقود مستقبلية في البلاد التي يراها الخبراء اكبر أمل في زيادة الإنتاج النفطي على نطاق واسع".
وكانت قد راجت شكوك في الكثير من البلدان العربية وفي اوساط في الجمهور الأميركي بان الولايات المتحدة مضت إلى الحرب في العراق تحديدا لتأمين الثروة النفطية التي تسعى هذه العقود إلى انتزاعها، فيما قالت إدارة بوش إن الحرب ضرورية لمقارعة ما اسمته "الإرهاب"، بحسب ما ترى الصحيفة.وتابعت أن "مسؤولين كبار (لم تذكر الصحيفة اسميهما) في اثنين من تلك الشركات تحدثوا اليها شريطة عدم الإشارة اليهم؛ بسبب تحسسهم من الظهور بمظهر المنتفع من الحرب ووقوعهم تحت ضغط ارتفاع أسعار النفط، وقالوا أنهم يساعدون في ذلك العراق على استعادة مكانته في هرم الصناعة النفطية".
وذكرت الصحيفة أن "هدف الحكومة العراقية في دعوة الشركات الكبرى يتمثل في زيادة الإنتاج النفطي بحوالي نصف مليون برميل يوميا من خلال جذب تكنولوجيا حديثة وخبرات إلى الحقول النفطية التي هي الآن في حاجة إلى الاثنين"وأضافت "سوف تستخدم الإيرادات في إعادة الإعمار، على الرغم من ان الحكومة العراقية مرتبكة في إنفاق العائدات النفطية التي تحت يدها الآن، ويعود سبب ذلك جزئيا إلى البيروقراطية وانعدام الكفاءة".ونقلت الصحيفة عن الناطق الرسمي باسم وزارة النفط العراقية عاصم جهاد قوله إن "منح هذه العقود هو إجراء لاستقطاب المهارات الحديثة في مجال الحقول النفطية على ان قانون النفط لم يتم البت فيه إلى الآن في البرلمان العراقي".
وأضافت أن "اختيار هذه الشركات جاء لأنها كانت تقدم المشورة إلى الوزارة من دون مقابل على مدى عامين قبل منحها العقود، ولانها تتوافر على التكنولوجيا المطلوبة".
ونقلت الصحيفة عن مارني فنك المتحدثة باسم شركة شل Shell "بوسعنا التأكيد بأننا قدمنا مقترحا نظريا وسريا إلى السلطات العراقية يتعلق بتقليل نسبة الغاز المحترق حاليا ومستقبلا في الجنوب من خلال جمع الغاز واستخدامه"
.ف ح (خ) - م ع

Petition sign and circulate:

Release Iraqi women hostages, victims of terrorism themselves

بعيدا عن الوطن؛ حراك التضامن مع الوطن فنا، شعرا وكتابةً
Away from Home; Memory, Art and women solidarity: you are invited to an evening of poetry and music 22/3/2017 18:30 at P21 Gallery London click here for more details
Public meeting at The Bolivar Hall, London Sat.14/5/2016 at 15:00 IDPs : Fragmentation of Cultural and National Identity


Protest the suffering of Iraqi Christians: No to terrorism No to state terrorism.Hands off our minorities. Hands off our people. Shame on the human rights violators on all sides. Assemble 11:30 on 28/7/14 near Parliament Square, near Westminister tube station London. For more past events click here


Useful links

Halt All Executions! Abolish The Death Penalty!

We women of Tadhamun condemn the persisting practice of arbitrary arrests by the Iraqi security forces. We condemn their arrests of women in lieu of their men folk. These are 'inherited' practices. We are alarmed by credible media reports of the Green Zone government’s intentions of executing hundreds of Iraqi men and women.

For more info click here

Professor Zaineb Al Bahrani of Columbia University NY speaking at a our meeting on the destruction/damage to historical sites in Iraq

On youtube: Part1
Part 3
One more video:

Human Rights Watch: No woman is Safe


Articles published on this site do not necessarily reflect the opinion of WSIUI or its members

المقالات المنشورة على هذا الموقع لا تعكس بالضرورة آراء منظمتنا أو أعضاء منظمتنا

Samarra Minrate built in 852 AD

Samarra Minrate built in 852 AD
Building of 1 500 massive police station !
From the angle of the photo, it is possible to calculate that the complex is being built at E 396388 N 3785995 (UTM Zone 38 North) or Lat. 34.209760° Long. 43.875325°, to the west of the Malwiya (Spiral Minaret), and behind the Spiral Cafe.
While the point itself may not have more than Abbasid houses under the ground, it is adjacent to the palace of Sur Isa, the remains of which can be seen in the photo. While the initial construction might or might not touch the palace, accompanying activities will certainly spread over it.Sur Isa can be identified with the palace of al-Burj, built by the
Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil, probably in 852-3 (Northedge, Historical Topography of Samarra, pp 125-127, 240). The palace is said to have cost 33 million dirhams, and was luxurious. Details are given by al-Shabushti, Kitab al-Diyarat.
Samarra was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO at the end of June. The barracks could easily have been built elsewhere, off the archaeological site.--
Alastair Northedge Professeur d'Art et d'Archeologie Islamiques UFR d'Art et d'Archeologie
Universite de Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne) 3, rue Michelet, 75006 Paris
tel. 01 53 73 71 08 telecopie : 01 53 73 71 13 Email :
Alastair.Northedge@univ-paris1.fr ou anorthedge@wanadoo.fr