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Americans Provided Iraqi Oil Ministry Contract Templates

Despite previous confirmation that it would award exceptional no-bid contracts to Western oil giants, Iraq just announced that it has failed to sign the deals. Meanwhile, American officials have confirmed that the Bush Administration was directly involved in the creation of the contracts, as American advisers led by a State Department team directly advised Iraqi officials. But today, Iraq announced that it failed to finalize the deals as expected, because the oil companies "refused to offer consultancy based fees as they wanted a share of the oil."

American government lawyers and private sector consultants provided the Iraqi Oil Ministry sample contracts, and offered detailed suggestions during the drafting process. Sources told the New York Times that assistance was simply technical and legal, and that the team did not help choose which companies received the lucrative deals. Still, the close involvement raises questions of an inherent conflict of interest and about America's commitment to Iraqi sovereignty. Although Iraq says it continues to negotiate with Western oil giants, they "think there is no need to share Iraq's oil with anybody."

Even if the US only provided technical direction, does a perception of inappropriate intrusion threaten America's credibility in the region? Does this inflame suspicions that the US went to war for oil?

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stephley stephley 9 years
Stiletta, have sources dwindled to the point that we're allowed to invade other countries? Have we tried conserving? Alternative energy sources? I don't think we're fighting for survival here yet.
stiletta stiletta 9 years
The ugly truth (for some) is that America is a capitalist nation and we rely on resources to fuel our economy. If our businesses can't produce, then our economy and our nation crumbles. So, yes, it's good for the US to resupply itself with oil and you can argue about how it was done but it was done and hopefully we can continue to grow our economy. That may sound cold, but when resources dwindle, sometimes you have to make cold decisions to survive.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I don't think we have a right to take the oil, but we have EVERY right to purchase said oil. "Even if the US only provided technical direction, does a perception of inappropriate intrusion threaten America's credibility in the region? Does this inflame suspicions that the US went to war for oil?" To answer these questions, I'd like to ask a question: How does providing technical direction create a perception of inappropriate intrusion? How many people here are in sales, and understand the concept of "If you help a client, they will want to do business with you"?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I dont see a problem with the US advisors assisting the ministry, who was understaffed according to the NY times, with the technical and legal details of the contracts. "The advice on the drafting of the contracts was not binding, he said, and sometimes the ministry chose to ignore it. “The ministry did not have to take our advice,” he said, adding that the Iraqis had also turned to the Norwegian government for counsel. “It has been their sole decision.”
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Get thee to Sunglass Hut.
stephley stephley 9 years
We don't have any 'right' to Iraq's oil.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
on a lighter note - who is managing the military's contracts with sunglass manufacturers? judging by the photograph, it would appear that oakley has a corner on that market.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
GS: why? why do we have a right to that oil?
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
I too think we are every bit welcome to some of the iraqi oil.
stephley stephley 9 years
It's $5 by my house already.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
First they spend 820 billion of our tax money to "free" the oil fields of Iraq. Then, after we pay to liberate Iraq with our blood and public money, they give that oil to companies that are already reaping untold profits at our expense. And then, to top it off, the price of gas will still go up to $5.00 by the end of the year so we're paying these companies twice! :rotfl: If I were Bush and Cheney, I'd be laughing so hard I'd crap my pants. Go Team Red!
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
undave, listen... the easiest way to explain this whole debacle is for you to understand this: the oil companies and the us government are working together. we are there for oil, for us, and the oil companies are going to take control of that oil, for us, and we are going to get it. that's it. the iraqi's most likely did not say "hey, we have never seen a contract, could you please help us?". i have a feeling there was a completely different conversation taking place in that room.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
UnDave LibertySugar asks: "does a perception of inappropriate intrusion threaten America's credibility in the region? Does this inflame suspicions that the US went to war for oil?" The question is about the perception. Sometimes the is and the general perception are one sometimes they're not in this case they might very well be. I'm not going to jump on the age old merry go round debate about why we went into Iraq, IMO it was simply unnecessary. I can see why they're contracting with private companies. It would be in their best interest to have private companies come in clean up reconstruct, reestablish, and modernize production. If they borrowed money and tried to do that on their own it would take forever. However, because of the U.S. history in the region and the cultivated distrust we reaped from it over the past thirty years it would be in all parties best interest if we kept hands off as much as humanly possible and that not all of the contracts go to U.S. companies. All this is doing is taking the deep seeded roots of terrorism and giving it a nice shot of miracle grow to distrust us even more.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Not to start a separate thread, but I do want to point out that in the original article on CitizenSugar, Liberty made it sound like a done deal: "Thirty-six years after Saddam Hussein nationalized oil and kicked out Western companies, Iraq's Oil Ministry has awarded Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, and BP contracts set to bring the oil giants back. Despite the fact that high oil prices put these contracts in high demand, Iraq granted very unusual no-bid contracts..." I had to read the NY Times article to find out that these contracts were in the final stages, not a done-deal. Obviously they weren't as good as awarded, because they fell through. I realize I sound like a pain in the ass, but I just feel it's important to keep the stories as close to the truth as possible, since after reading the original, I think many people believed these contracts had been awarded, when they hadn't.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
"I don't think we went in to make money in Iraq, I think we went in because we were not successful enough in Afghanistan, because we couldn't or didn't dare to take on Iran, and because we wanted to control the oil->money->power.(Certainly a few detail are left out, so pardon the overtly simple conclusion.) But not to make money per say. But the oil companies involved in Iraq is not there for humanitarian reasons, and they should be watched closely to avoid war profiteering that will steal the natural resources away from its people." I agree that they need to be watched, but the oil companies aren't providing the advice, the government is.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
And then there is the issue with US Governments involvement with the contractors. I'm off to bed, see you guys tomorrow! :WAVE:
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Thanks Steph for the recap(I'm a bit tired, it's past bed time here in Berlin, so I kind of needed it). What is so troublesome is that an Iraqi Government (and proper Parliament)has not been established, even after a reasonably successful surge. And where there is no Government, there is no authority who can justfully decide this. The oil money NEEDS to go back to rebuilding the country, and IMO be Iraqi state owned. They need some to get the oil out though, which is where the American companies can help, but only as contractors. I don't think we went in to make money in Iraq, I think we went in because we were not successful enough in Afghanistan, because we couldn't or didn't dare to take on Iran, and because we wanted to control the oil->money->power.(Certainly a few detail are left out, so pardon the overtly simple conclusion.) But not to make money per say. But the oil companies involved in Iraq is not there for humanitarian reasons, and they should be watched closely to avoid war profiteering that will steal the natural resources away from its people. BLA BLA BLA. Wake up, I'm done!
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
What are we supposed to do Hypno? They asked us for help, we provided the assistance. Are we supposed to say "Sorr, we can't help you. You need to go ask someone else, like the Saudis."?
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Sorry I wasn't here earlier, I did after all call for more Iraq posts! And thanks to Liberty for writing about it. Just got to read through this..
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
"The US is the major player in the protection of the growing Iraqi government, and provided advice and sample contracts for the oil companies" The answer is in your statement UnDave, that's the problem.
stephley stephley 9 years
I have to go home and bang my head against the wall several times before I read your question again.
stephley stephley 9 years
Congrats on your prize.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Sorry I've been absent. I've spent the day at a charity golf outing for a church camp. We finished 11th, but I won a hole prize for the longest drive. Now that I am here.... I fail to see the problem here. The US is the major player in the protection of the growing Iraqi government, and provided advice and sample contracts for the oil companies. Since the US had no decision on which oil companies they dealt with, where is the issue?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Good Lord yesteryear you could give us some assemblance of a warning before you up and change race, kick smoking and loose your falsies. I'm for pulling out but we all know that our presence is still going to be there in one way or another. The only person running for President that would have had us pull entirely out is Congressman Kucinich. In my opinion we made a mess we need to clean up and we need to make sure that we don't just leave these people hanging by a thread after ransacking their infrastructure. As for the contracts I'm hoping that close international scrutiny will keep things on the up and up but judging by history this administration has no fear of consequence.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
thanks stephley - i think i even learned something there.
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