Wednesday, 4 November 2009

To whome this victory: Hussain Al-Shahrisntani or Big Oil?

Unlike his previous public appearances, Iraq's Oil Minister Hussain Al-Shahristani on Tuesday was happy and friendly and never complained when local and foreign reporters circled and rained him with questions, but even I had the feeling that he was ready to talk for hours about his last achievement, the biggest in Iraq's history.

Yes, it is a victory for Al-Shahritsnai to bring UK's BP and China's CNPC to develop Iraq's biggest oil field, the 17.8-billion-barrel Rumaila, with these companies' money and according to the Iraqi terms. And even he promised that more such deals will see the light in the coming days.

Analysts say Big Oil accepted Iraqi low fees only to set foot in this country and then they will have more lucrative deals in the future. But what would happen if they find Al-Shahristani again in office in the next government? Would be any chance for any lucrative deals in the future after signing such deals now?