"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Iraq non compete , short term, unprofitable, oil "technical support" deals with oil majors fall apart as Vagit watches and waits

We told how our friend Vagit Alekperov was accompanied by the chess playing Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov and got to see President al-Maliki and Jalal Talibani to make "good business" .. the result of years of patient persuasion by Vagit. Thursday, March 27, 2008 LUKoil revive and seal a deal with Maliki and Talibani for Western Qurna-2 field - Russia writes off US$12 Bn debt to Saddam see also for a little history 22/03/04 Oil is not well in Iraq "I'n'I...

"Last week, 15/3/04 - LUKOIL's chief executive Vagit Alekperov met Iraq's Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum who has said that oil companies of different countries should do business in Iraq. According to him, talks with LUKoil were held in December 2003. During their March 11th meeting in Baghdad, they signed a deal to train Iraqi oil industry employees and students. 40 Iraqi students will study in Russia's I.M. Gubkin Oil and Gas University. Their numbers will increase to 100 students in 2005."

Things however got a bit clouded in March this year when it became apparent that al-Maliki was also negotiating six no-bid, short-term technical support contracts with international oil firms, worth about $500 million each, aimed at quickly boosting production by a combined 500,000 barrels a day.

These were supposed to be the 1st Phase for developing the industry and should have been signed by now with Royal Dutch Shell , Shell in partnership with BHP Billiton , BP , Exxon Mobil Chevron and Total plus a consortium of smaller firms Anadarko with Vitol and Dome (already active in Kurdistan North Iraq) .

Just by the by, in 1995 Vitol signed a deal with a Serbian company, Orion, to sell thousands of tonnes of oil to the former Yugoslavia. Senior Tory Alan Duncan was a consultant with Vitol when they paid $1 million to the Serbian war criminal Arkan to settle a score over a secret oil deal to supply Slobodan Milosevic's Serbia with fuel. see Chris Paul Monday, July 21, 2008 Breaking News: Karadzic Captured, Arkan-Vitol-Duncan

More by the by , Vitol pleaded guilty in November 2007 to a larceny charge in connection with a scheme to pay secret kickbacks to the Iraqi government in exchange for oil under the United Nations'oil-for-food(OFF) .Vitol agreed to pay restitution of US$13 million (€8.8 million) to the Development Fund for Iraq and to make a payment of US$4.5 million (€3 million) to the city and state of New York.

At the same time Chevron Corp. also agreed to pay US$30 million (€20.2 million) to settle civil and criminal charges related to secret surcharges paid by third-party merchants in exchange for oil under the program.

Now surprise, surprise , today, Charles Ries, coordinator for Iraq's economic transition at the U.S. embassysince last July says that the Iraq Government on present form probably won't proceed with most of these deals or even all of them. Charles said on July 17th at a junket in Abu Dhabi .."Developing Iraq’s economy depends on unlocking the potential of its petroleum sector, which currently accounts for nearly 70 percent of Iraq’s gross domestic product and 85 percent of government revenues. " Quick of him to notice.

Ries is on record saying that Anadarko and some of its partners have already walked away from talks over their deal, the first to apparently fall through.

He apparently says to anyone listening that the oil majors were at best lukewarm to the idea of the short-term contracts which "were never going to be hugely lucrative," but some had been pursuing them in the hope of building a long-term relationship with Iraq's Oil Ministry.

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