August 6th, 2011

For anyone who still might think that the Iraq invasion and occupation is not all about oil, a recently leaked contract, published by oil industry watchdog PLATFORM, exposes BP’s new 20-year “deal” to control Iraq’s largest oil field, which produces about half of Iraq’s total oil output.

The key part of the contract, which was unknown until this leak, reveals that BP will still get paid even if there is any disruption in the very ambitious level of output they have called for, some 3 million barrels per day within the next three years.

As the contract reads, “the parties shall agree in good faith a mechanism to fully compensate [BP] contractor as soon as practicable, which may include, among other things, a revised field production schedule or an extension to the term or payment of lost income in respect of the estimated volumes not produced during the period.”

Greg Muttitt, author of Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq, reported on these new contract details stating:

“Iraq’s oil auctions were portrayed as a model of transparency and a negotiating victory for the Iraqi government. Now we see the reality was the opposite: a backroom deal that gave BP a stranglehold on the Iraqi economy, and even influence over the decisions of Opec…. The changes that took place behind closed doors at first look like technical details. But look more closely and you see their real meaning: BP, not the Iraqi government, will effectively control future rates of production. This gives the company a stranglehold on the Iraqi economy.”

BP ‘has gained stranglehold over Iraq’ after oilfield deal is rewritten

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