15 Apr. 2008

Aussie Oilers Get Lubed Up For Iraq Insertion

The al-Maliki government in Baghdad recently released a shortlist of 35 companies "pre-qualified" to bid for oil and gas contracts. BHP Billiton, Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum are on the list:
Last week BHP petroleum's chief executive, Mike Yeager, said his company was looking to provide technical services at Halfayah for the next few years while Iraq worked on its domestic oil legislation...

Woodside has also tried to gain access to Iraqi oilfields since the US invasion in 2003. It had a memorandum of co-operation with the Ministry of Oil, covering the evaluation of oil and gas projects in Kurdistan, which expired last year...

Oil Search's managing director, Peter Botten, said his company was close to picking up some more exploration ground in Kurdistan. The group's business development head, Keiran Wulff, last month said his company was comfortable operating in Kurdistan due to its experience with security and government relations in a similarly risky environment in Papua New Guinea.
There is of course an expectation that these companies will be invited to exploit Iraq's national resource because (after all) we helped "liberate" the country from Saddam. To the victors the spoils, as they say. I am just so proud.

I hope Kev doesn't hold up these potentially lucrative business deals with any annoying Royal Commissions or anything like that. We all know business and politics don't mix.