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Friday, June 17, 2011

U.S. controls Iraqi oil, first I've heard of this idea

NYT:

MOSCOW — When Iraq auctioned rights to rebuild and expand its oil industry two years ago, the Russian company Lukoil won a hefty portion — a field holding about 10 percent of Iraq’s known oil.

It seemed a geopolitical victory for Lukoil. And because only one of the 11 fields that the Iraqis auctioned off went to an American oil company — Exxon Mobil — it also seemed as if few petroleum benefits would flow to the country that took the lead role in the war, the United States.

The auction’s outcome helped defuse criticism in the Arab world that the United States had invaded Iraq for its oil. “No one, even the United States, can steal the oil,” the Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said at the time.

But American companies can, apparently, drill for the oil.

In fact, American drilling companies stand to make tens of billions of dollars from the new petroleum activity in Iraq long before any of the oil producers start seeing any returns on their investments

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