Friday, 24 October 2008

Iraq's oil reserves not for sell

A former Iraqi oil official and now an executive director of an energy studies center on Friday defended Iraq's first post-war oil bidding round as critics labeled it as selling of 40 percent of the country's 115-billion-barrel oil reserves to the international oil companies.

"Iraq has not put its oil reserves up for sale," Fadhil Chalabi, the executive director of the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies and Iraq's former Oil Ministry's undersecretary, wrote in the UK's Guardian newspaper.

"Our contracts with oil companies will simply allow us to restore production levels," Chalabi added in response to a news report published by the daily on October 13 when Iraq kicked off his first oil bidding in London.

In his article, Chalabi made it clear that inernational oil companies will not have a share in Iraq's reserves under the proposed service contracts and what duties to be assigned to these oil companies in these contracts.

As I said in a previous post, critics have no right to attack the Oil Ministry step and that they have to fully understand these deals before making any statement.

I hope we will hear more voices from such famous experts from now on.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Congratulations Ratchet!!!

Is there still anyone in the world who deems U.S. troops in Iraq as occupiers or criminals who kill people with cold blood or at least as bad guys who crossed the oceans to invade a country and mess it up?

I don't think so.

Here is Kime Gamel of the Associated Press in Baghdad tells the world that these troops, who get their job done with the Iraqis after "liberating" them and bringing them a wonderful life, are now turning to Iraqi pets to help them and that they are here for these pets not for any other reasons!!!

Gamel did a story today on how a special relationship has been developed since May between an Iraqi street dog and a U.S. femal trooper after she and another soldier rescued the puppy from a burning pile of trash.

And despite the U.S. military rules that barring troops from caring for pets while in this country, Army Spc. Gwen Beberg, 28, of Minneapolis insisted to keep the dog.Today, he was collected by a "private security firm from the small base, put him into a pet carrier and transported him to the airport on Baghdad's western outskirts," and then he was boarded on a charter, which will also stop in Amsterdam and Washington, D.C., en route to Ratchet's new home.

Lucky you Mr. Ratchet.

You will be another pet unlike your fiends in Iraq; pets and human beings.You will walk on paved streets and greenish parks. You will have electricity 24 hours.You will eat special pets canned food and get safe drinking water.You will not dig in the garbages any more.You will take shower with special shampoos.

And the most important thing is that you will feel the security and will never hear the shit of our politicians.

But I'm afraid that this lavish life will let you yearn to your past days in Iraq like the other dog who decided once to leave Iraq when he fed up the living but returned few months later and when one of his friends asked him why he returned, he answered: "I fed up mate, no one treated me as a dog.Only in Iraq I can realize that I'm a dog."

We all do as well !!!

Congratulations Mr. Ratchet !!!

Friday, 17 October 2008

No budget surplus in 2009

Iraq is unlikly to witness a budget surplus this year and the next as oil prices are sliding, a lawmaker and a government spokesman told The Associated Press.

Abbas al-Bayati, a senior lawmaker of the United Iraqi Alliance, the largest Shiite bloc in parliament expected Friday the government to cut its budget next year by $15 billion because of falling oil prices.It was planned to stand at US$79 billion.

Al-Bayati's statement came two days after the spokesman of the Iraqi Finance Ministry, Adnan Abdul-Rahman also told The AP that his Ministry will reconsider a new average price per barrel of oil instead of the previously US$80.

But whatever the budget and the surplus will be, I'm confident that Iraqis' sufferings will not be eased and their needs will not met.

This government and its officials especially senior ones have approved that they are incapable to run this country properly by making use of its resources to put it on the track and get it out of its turmoil.

And this was clear when its Electricity Minister last month said that he would hire a British consultancy company to advice his Ministry how to implement projects !!!

And not only this. He also stated in a press conference that Iraqis should count two years from now when they will see improvement the electricity, throwing behind his back his first two years in office during which he was boasting his ambitious plans to get electricity back to normal.

This is only one of the example for the government's failure in spending this money and of course there are more and more....

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Bad luck or mismanagment?

As Iraqi Oil Minister, Hussein al-Shahristani declared last Monday his country's first oil bidding round to develop six oil fields and two gas fields, accusations of selling off more than one third of Iraq's 115-billion-barrel proven reserves to international oil companies were immediately made.

Until now, according to what was released by al-Shahristani and the Ministry's director-general of Licenses and Contracts Directorate_Natik al-Bayati_ there is no evidence that Iraq gives these companies the upper hand or offers them any production-sharing contracts, a model of contracts which is favored by oil giants.

In short, Iraq will pay them flat fee for their service under a proposed service contract.

So in light of what the two officials declared to media, I think no one has the right yet to make such accusations unless he has solid evidences and has to present them.

I don't know whether it was al-Shahristani's bad luck or mismanagement behind such accusations.

The day he kicked off the bidding round when he met with the representatives of the pre-qualified companies in London and then did a press a conference to declare Iraq's conditions was a busy day for mainstream media outlets with the approval of the bailout plan and that this issue didn't take the enough space to be explained and analyzed accurately.

Or it was the Minister's bad management as his Ministry still doesn't have an effective and clear media policy to deal accuratly with the local and international media outlets to make available their plans' details to protect him from such accusations.

For instance; few days ahead of Monday's meeting, the Ministery issued a briefed statement, saying that the Minister was heading to London too meet companies representatives.

And only today, which is Wednesday, another briefed statement was issued about the same meeting, saying that the Minister met with these companies without any details about the conditions and contract form.


-I advise those who want to criticize and make their points in linking the war with oil, an idea I agree with, to have a look on all the details and then issue their statements. I urge them to read the best two coverage for Monday's meeting: the first one was for Ruba Husari of Internationl Oil Daily and Raphael G. Satter of the Associated Press. Both were in London.

-I advise Iraqi Oil Minister to make available to all media outlets, whether local or international inside or outside Iraq, all the details about these plans and update them from time to time whether by press conferences or round table meetings or detailed statements otherwise he and then the government will face a lot of such accusations as he did few months ago when Iraq was negotiating Technical Service Contracts with majors.