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Will Iraq repeat Russia’s oil mistakes?

By Greg Muttitt, PLATFORM Published in al-Sabah al-Jadeed, October 2006 Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein Shahristani announced last week that he aimed to sign oil production contracts with foreign companies by the end of next year. Notably, the announcement was made in Australia – like most of the significant statements of Iraqi oil policy, it was...

George’s oil Dubya-speak

As decision-time approaches, the USA pulls levers on Iraqi oil policy – This report was first published in Platform’s carbon web newsletter, issue 5. “The oil belongs to the Iraqi people. It’s their asset,” declared George W. Bush in a press conference on the White House lawn in June. He had just returned from his...

Oil-rich South America forces US free trade agenda on the back foot

In a sign of increasing resistance to US hegemony in South America, both Bolivia and Ecuador have moved towards nationalisation of their oil industries – This article was first published in Platform’s Carbon Web Newsletter, Issue 5. Bolivian President Evo Morales in May issued an ultimatum to foreign oil companies to negotiate new contracts or leave...

Energy Security – for whom?

Some commentators saw this summer’s G8 meeting in St. Petersburg as a clash of empires, with Vladimir Putin using the theme of “energy security” to reassert Russia’s global power. What has received less attention is how the concept is intended to bring ever-increasing supplies of energy to all of the G8 countries, potentially at the...

George’s Oil Dubya-speak

As decision-time approaches, the USA pulls levers on Iraqi oil policy. “The oil belongs to the Iraqi people. It’s their asset,” declared George W. Bush in a press conference on the White House lawn in June. He had just returned from his surprise visit to Baghdad, in which oil had been one of the main...

Production sharing agreements: surrendering Iraq’s resource sovereignty?

[gview file=”https://platformlondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/al-kindi_pres.pdf”] Presentation to al-Kindi Society, 22 July 2006

Oil privatisation through the back door

Originally published in niqash.org In a survey in July 2003, Baghdad residents were asked what they thought was the main reason for America and Britain to go to war in Iraq. The most popular answer, with 47% of responses, was “to secure oil supplies”. At first glance, it would seem that America and Britain have...

For whom, the wells drilled?

Originally published in niqash.org The debate over national vs. regional control of Iraq’s oil sector intensified last week, as the new Natural Resources Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) stated his opposition to amending the oil-related articles of the Constitution. In his first public statement since his appointment, Dr Ashti Hawrami argued that, “the...

The black gold rush

Originally published on niqash.org It is an old cliché that politics is too important to be left to the politicians. But are new moves to decide the future shape of Iraq’s oil industry happening too fast to achieve public consensus – on issues that could both redraw the map and rewrite the history of Iraq?...

Of Oil, War and Power – Learning From History

One year before he became US Vice President, Dick Cheney told an audience of oil company executives in London that, “[b]y 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day … While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the...

Film: ‘Venezuela: the forgotten cost of oil’

Gabriele Muzio explains what inspired him to make a film among forgotten communities in Venezuela’s oil producing area – This feature report was first published in Platform's carbon web newsletter, issue 4. Venezuela’s president Chavez is arguably the only Latin American leader who dares challenge the Washington Consensus and US hegemony over the continent. The...

Iraq steps toward long-term oil contracts

In late January, the International Monetary Fund finally released its Standby Agreement, signed with the Iraqi government a month previously. The Agreement provided a future financing facility, but more significantly allowed the cancellation of 30% of Iraq’s debt owed to the Paris Club of creditor nations – in exchange for Iraq’s compliance with the IMF’s...