Oil Talk, C-Span, Sunday 9:30am EDT

Gal Luft, Executive Director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security will talk about a potential oil revenue sharing deal being debated in the Iraqi Parliament. He will also discuss how the legislation treats the distribution of revenue to Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, and foreign oil companies.

Tomorrow morning at 9:30 EDT Sunday on C-Span. Give him a call (it's Washington Journal, so I would encourage you to)--and forget not to mention The Oil Drum! :) (thanks Kevin C. for the tip.)


Today ALjazeera has a leading article on who benefits from the proposed oil law - foreign oil companies, surprise,surprise.


This point was specifically addressed by the speaker. He pointed out that there is no "Law", only a draft proposal. And that draft will undoubtedly undergo many more changes before it is even presented to the Iraqi parliament. He also pointed out that currently the only people current working to develop new projects in Iraq are Russia and China. And you can be sure that any contracts signed by China or Russia will be far more favorable to those two countries than to the Iraqi people.

That being said, exactly what would you expect from the proposed law? Would you think that everything should be nationalized, as Russia and Venezuela are currently doing? If there is anything that will reduce oil production in Iraq it would be total nationalization of everything. If that happened then the corrupt politicians could just divide the money from current production, leaving nothing for maintenance or development.

And also pointed out on the show was that the oil companies mentioned in the proposal were truly international companies, not just US companies.

Ron Patterson

Iraqi is an occupied country and any legal changes are themselves illegal. Before the occupation, the oil resources were the property of the Iragi state. Most Iragis think they should remain so.

Some politicians are corrupt, a fact widely used by oil companies e.g. Nigeria. Others such as Wolfowitz and Cheny appear to be corrupt too.

Doubtless US oil comppanies are misunderstood saints. But as participants is Cheny's energy task force they received maps of Iragi oil reserves. They have also been consulted before the Iragi Parliamnt about the proposed oil law.

The biggest US embassy in the world is soon to open in Bagdad. American townships are being constructed in Irag for a permanent presence of US troops. How loong is the occupation intended to last - 1000 years?

I watched the show and found it quite interesting though not much new was revealed. The guest, a supposed expert on Iraqi affairs, suggested that there were vast areas of Iraq that had not been explored for oil. He said that there ware approximately 100 billion barrels of oil yet to be found in Western Iraq.

There are currently no oil fields in Western Iraq, just as there are none just across the border in Saudi Arabia in that area. All maps of the oilfields in Saudi and Iraq show the oil fields petering out the further west you go. I would suggest that there is a very good reason for that and that reason is not that the area is unexplored. The primary reason no oil fields have been found in that area is that the geological formation is just not conducive to the formation of oil.

One more very interesting the gentleman pointed out was in answer to the recent claim of the New York Times that from 100,000 to 300,000 barrels per day just go missing from Iraqi oil production. The gentleman agreed that some of it is siphoned off and sold on the black market. But he pointed out, quite correctly I think, that no one really knows just how much oil is produced every day in Iraq. Therefore, he suggested, that most of that oil was simply never produced in the first place. It was just the difference between the inflated production numbers and the amount of oil actually delivered to exporters and domestic buyers.

Ron Patterson

Before the Iraq war, the Iraqis had a UN food for oil program. The Republicans indicated the program was corrupt and did away with it. The program was distributing food rations to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis each month. These people may have felt betrayed when their oil was taken from them and seized by Bush's people. The food for oil did not cause them to give up working for a living, but was generally used to supplement their income.

This preemptive war to take out Sadaam's alleged nuclear weapons program has proved to be an unnecessary waste of tax payer's money. The CIA and UN had warned before the war that documents indicating Sadaam was seeking uranium in Niger were forged. The invasion of Iraq has caused a lack of confidence in the Republican leadership.

It has been said that things were bad under Sadaam, but now they are much worse. Hundreds of thousands fled Iraq into areas already suffering crowding and poverty. Sadaam was not using Iraq as a base. It was a movement compatible with the Taliban of Afghanistan who were extremely militant in their interpretation of Islam.

People in the United States indicated they believed Bush deliberately lied to them. The leaders of Italy, Spain, and Britain who called for the war in Iraq have been turned out of office by the voters of those countries. The Republicans (US) were net losers in the past Novemeber election.

Someone please explain how this supposed oil law makes a whit of difference. There is no Iraqi government, there is no Iraqi judiciary, there is no reason to believe the "law" would ever be more than a talking point for Bush and his loyal phalanx of talking heads.

perceived legitimacy, I would guess.

what Bush et al fail to realize (or not care about) is that legitimacy with regard to any preemption is very difficult to craft...

Ok, I'll buy that. As good an answer as I can expect.

I am a little surprised at the level of effort that has gone into pushing and pushing and pushing for what will only be a notional law.

It's as if someone expects that if you take your roles very seriously and play all the parts in full dress and just keep on pretending then magically the fictions will become real.

I think I have seen this movie... :(

I'm guessing the real of purpose of Cheney's recent trip was to tell the Iraqi parliament, "Pass it or else!".
My guess is that they will pass something to save their asses. Since passing the law is inevitable, the real question is how the population reacts. Our most likely response will be to increase the military budget in order to implement the Carter doctrine. Will the auto, airline, military funded Democrats cut off funding? I doubt it.

We need another Katrina or 2003 blackout.

The apparent response is say, "Yes, Mr Vice-President, we'll get right onto it." and then do swat.

Passing the law will put their asses at more risk, not less. After all, what's Cheney going to do, if it doesn't pass, withdraw the troops?


I guess that I have to agree with all of you. I am sure that 100% of the proceeds of all the oil produced since the war have been given to Bush & Cheney trusts for their children. There was an obvious need for money for those children, who are now multi-billionaires. Forbes magazine publishes the richest people in the world, but they do not mention the Bush & Cheney children. Obviously, they have been paid off. The UN should investigate this. But, it is obvious to anyone that Bush & Cheney have told everyone that is associated with the UN if anyone talks about this. The New York Times has been bought & paid for by Bush & Cheney. Sure, they print a few negative pages about them every day, but this is just to disguise the fact that they have been bought off by Bush & Cheney, so that they can continue for the next 1000 years to divert all of the oil money to their offspring. It is probably too late to do anything about it. They now have enough money that they can buy off anyone that challenges them. I am 100% sure that Bush & Cheney will declare a coup and establish a dictatorship. What a waste of time with all these people running around trying to get nominated to be the next president. Bush & Cheney have their fingers into every dollar in the world. They probably hold the mortagage on your house and if you oppose them too much, they will find an excuse to confiscate it. LOL