Posted by: Lister | August 16, 2007

Is the oil-law a priority?

Prominent Iraqis criticise oil law:

A statement, signed by 419 Iraqi oil experts, economists and intellectuals, expresses grave concern that the newly proposed law would deprive Iraq from its most vital natural resource, oil, and give foreign oil companies ultimate domination over Iraq’s oil wealth.

Issam al-Chalabi, Iraq’s former oil minister and a signatory to the statement, told Al Jazeera: […] “We urge that a modified oil law be passed only by a referendum, simply because oil is the wealth of all Iraqis and it affects every Iraqi’s livelihood and future.”

[…] Iraq’s oil experts insist that their country enjoys a remarkable experience in the oil industry, and it does not need foreign help to develop the country’s oil infrastructure.

Al Jazeera spoke to Kamal al-Kaisi, a former oil ministry official and Iraq’s representative to Opec 1979-1985. He said: “The question is: Do we really need that oil law? Is it really that urgent, and cannot wait until Iraq is better off?

“Iraq has achieved the nationalisation of oil in 1973, we ran our oil industry effectively for decades, before and after the nationalisation, and our experience has become a model for the region’s countries.

[…] Al-Kaisi said: “If we want to increase oil production, then we do not need to risk our necks by surrendering our oil to foreign companies, it could be done internally. Iraq is full of high-quality oil engineers. All we need is to borrow some money, may be, but we definitely do not need the production share agreements (PSA).

“The nation is in ruins, people are afraid to stay in their own homeland, foreign troops are occupying the country, the government alliance is falling apart – among many other problems. Is the oil law a priority in such circumstances?

A priority to Bush and the PNAC posse, I’m sure.

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