Monday, October 13, 2008
The Sale of the Century
The Guardian reports:
The biggest ever sale of oil assets will take place today, when the Iraqi government puts 40bn barrels of recoverable reserves up for offer in London.
BP, Shell and ExxonMobil are all expected to attend a meeting at the Park Lane Hotel in Mayfair with the Iraqi oil minister, Hussein al-Shahristani.
Access is being given to eight fields, representing about 40% of the Middle Eastern nation's reserves, at a time when the country remains under occupation by US and British forces.
Two smaller agreements have already been signed with Shell and the China National Petroleum Corporation, but today's sale will ignite arguments over whether the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was a "war for oil" that is now to be consummated by western multinationals seizing control of strategic Iraqi reserves.
Al-Shahristani is expected to reveal some kind of "risk service agreements" that could run for up to 20 years, with formal offers to be submitted by next spring and agreements signed in the summer.
Gregg Muttitt, from the UK-based social and ecological justice group Platform, says he is alarmed that the government is pushing ahead with its plans without the support of many in Iraq.
Anyone out there still think that the invasion of Iraq was about 'liberating the Iraqi people', or countering the 'threat' posed by Saddam's (non-existent) WMD?
Like the earlier 'humanitarian intervention' against Federal Yugoslavia, it was a war for corporate profits- pure and simple.