Thursday, 18 June 2009

Fronts against Hussain al-Shahristani

As Iraq is heading to wrap up its first post-Saddam oil bidding round to develop six oil fields and two gas fields, different fronts are being opened against the rounds' engineer: the country's Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani by using all the means in bids to confuse the bidding companies and derail the process.

One of these "mean" means came from al-Shahristani's main foe: the Natural Resources Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government, Asthi Hawrami who has implicitly threaten, through Reuters' writer Mohammed Abbas, the oil companies willing to develop two of the offered fields in the disputed province of Kirkuk.

"They will be on shaky ground. Speaking about fields in the disputed territories, the contractors will not actually have a chance to work on the ground. I cannot see how they will have the security and support they need in these disputed territories without the KRG being party in providing that help," Mr. Hawrami told Abbas on Thursday.

What an irony, Mr. Hawrami, who signed more than 20 controversial production-sharing contracts on his own and none knows anything about their terms, wants to be consulted by the central government who has to take his permission to develop the two Kirkuk oil fields on offer!!!.

Why you didn't consult the central government on your ambiguous deals Mr. Hawrami?

Now would you please tell me Mr. Hawrami what these companies will face if al-Shahristani will not consult you? will you send your peshmerga or any of your secret security forces to kidnap oil executives in Kirkuk or plant roadside bombs or park car bombs on their way to these fields? is that constitutional or legal Mr. Hawrami to publish such threats in the media? are you a politician or a gang man?

The other front to al-Shahristani was opened by the Head of State-run South Oil Co. Fayad al-Nema who also through Reuters' Abbas renewed Thursday his rejection to the first bidding round as "useless and won't serve the Iraqi economy."

I don't know where Mr. al-Nema was since the announcement of this round a year ago , why he didn't express his rejection as he was heading the Minsitry's Planning and Studies Department ? and why he issued such statements during the past week which surprised many in the industry? may be just to bring the lights towards him as he was newly appointed to this position, why not.

In addition to these two guys, the governor of disputed Kirkuk, a Kurd, who also copied his fellow statements and Iraq's former oil minister, Mohammed Bahr al-Ulom. In addition to them the Parliament's Oil and Gas Committee which is headed by a Kurd and one of his main aid is Jabir Khalifa Jabir from Shiite Fadhila party, a main rival to al-Shahristani's party.

And another question mark is that why Reuters published today what it did publish over the past few days based on the same comments from the same persons?

Does that mean that media outlets are also opening fronts against al-Shahristani?

No comments: