Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The first part of reviving Iraq's oil sector story is done

There is no doubt that Iraq's eleven mega oil deals _ one a revived Saddam Hussein-era deal and ten resulted from two auctions _ and their vast investment commitments and expected bonanza will grant the country's Oil Minister Hussein Al-Shahristani a place in Iraq's modern history.

The nuclear scientist is the first Iraqi Oil Minister to orchestrate such plans that ended up with putting more than half of Iraq's proven 115 billion barrels in the hands of International Oil Companies for development. He managed to attract their sorely needed technology and money according his terms.

With these deals, he started his elections campaign for the March 7 parliamentary elections early despite his statements to The Wall Street Journal in a June 2009 interview when he said that he was planning to quit politics when ends his term to return to the Iraqi National Academy of Science, which he established in 2003.

His first public appearance outside the Oil Ministry building was last month at the University of Baghdad to talk about the deals. His second appearance was last Saturday before a group of Iraqi economists where a white woman with green eyes who was wearing Hijab and long cloak, believed to be his Canadian wife, was accompanying him.

Few hours later of that day, he appeared before a gathering of normal people in Taji area just few kilometers north of Baghdad also to talk about the deals and the job opportunities which will be created and the expected revenues to build new infrastructure.

I think Al-Shahristani has done his job perfectly by successfully completing the first part of Iraq's efforts to revive its rundown oil industry and the next step will be left to the next government which should cooperate with these companies and most importantly it should know where and how to spend each pence of the coming revenues.

kassakhoon@gmail.com

12 comments:

Bryan said...

Hello Kasakhoon,

My name is Bryan Semaan, and I am a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Irvine, in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science. I am an Iraqi born in America – my mother was born and raised in Basra, and my father was born and raised in Northern Iraq, in a village near Mosul called Telkaif (Tel Keppe). I came across your blog because I have been going to Iraq Blog Count for some time now to learn more about what my fellow Iraqis are experiencing back home.

I am currently working on my dissertation research, where I am trying to better understand the ways in which Iraqis are using technology (i.e. the Internet, mobile phones) to repair various practices, e.g. social life, work, and education, despite living through war. My ultimate goal will be to develop technologies that will lessen the effects of war on civilian populations.

I was wondering if you would be willing to participate in an interview? All of the data I collect, as per University policy, will be confidential and anonymous. If you would like to participate, please let me know which method you would prefer. I can call your cell phone, or we can talk over Skype. Please contact me here, or via e-mail if you're interested: bsemaan@uci.edu

Please let me know if you would like to help a fellow Iraqi! Thank you very much for your time, and I hope to hear from you shortly.

Sincerely,

Bryan Semaan, PhD Candidate
Department of Informatics--Collaborative Technologies
Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences
University of California, Irvine
Web: http://www.ics.uci.edu/~bsemaan
Email: bsemaan@ics.uci.edu

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