Dinosaur sells soul, hides out in Iraq

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Northland, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Northland

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    Okay, now that I have your attention-Saw this amusing article in the New York Grime today...er, pardon me, my editor tells me they prefer to be called the New York Times. Well, that aside, here's the article link: Deals With Iraq Set to Bring Oil Giants Back
    I had been wondering how long it would take until the biggies would start running their grreedy fat fingers through the sand to try some ass tickling.
    A quick blurb:
    BAGHDAD — Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.
    Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.
    The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations.
    The no-bid contracts are unusual for the industry, and the offers prevailed over others by more than 40 companies, including companies in Russia, China and India. The contracts, which would run for one to two years and are relatively small by industry standards, would nonetheless give the companies an advantage in bidding on future contracts in a country that many experts consider to be the best hope for a large-scale increase in oil production.
    There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to war in Iraq precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract. The Bush administration has said that the war was necessary to combat terrorism. It is not clear what role the United States played in awarding the contracts; there are still American advisers to Iraq’s Oil Ministry.
    Sensitive to the appearance that they were profiting from the war and already under pressure because of record high oil prices, senior officials of two of the companies, speaking only on the condition that they not be identified, said they were helping Iraq rebuild its decrepit oil industry.
    For an industry being frozen out of new ventures in the world’s dominant oil-producing countries, from Russia to Venezuela, Iraq offers a rare and prized opportunity.
    While enriched by $140 per barrel oil, the oil majors are also struggling to replace their reserves as ever more of the world’s oil patch becomes off limits. Governments in countries like Bolivia and Venezuela are nationalizing their oil industries or seeking a larger share of the record profits for their national budgets. Russia and Kazakhstan have forced the major companies to renegotiate contracts.
    The Iraqi government’s stated goal in inviting back the major companies is to increase oil production by half a million barrels per day by attracting modern technology and expertise to oil fields now desperately short of both. The revenue would be used for reconstruction, although the Iraqi government has had trouble spending the oil revenues it now has, in part because of bureaucratic inefficiency.
    For the American government, increasing output in Iraq, as elsewhere, serves the foreign policy goal of increasing oil production globally to alleviate the exceptionally tight supply that is a cause of soaring prices.
    The Iraqi Oil Ministry, through a spokesman, said the no-bid contracts were a stop-gap measure to bring modern skills into the fields while the oil law was pending in Parliament.
    It said the companies had been chosen because they had been advising the ministry without charge for two years before being awarded the contracts, and because these companies had the needed technology.
    A Shell spokeswoman hinted at the kind of work the companies might be engaged in. “We can confirm that we have submitted a conceptual proposal to the Iraqi authorities to minimize current and future gas flaring in the south through gas gathering and utilization,” said the spokeswoman, Marnie Funk. “The contents of the proposal are confidential.”
    While small, the deals hold great promise for the companies.
    “The bigger prize everybody is waiting for is development of the giant new fields,” Leila Benali, an authority on Middle East oil at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, said in a telephone interview from the firm’s Paris office. The current contracts, she said, are a “foothold” in Iraq for companies striving for these longer-term deals...



    Yup, life is good-or at least mildly humerous-at moments such as these.Ya just gotta love those big bulging-pocket oily oil pricks when they feed crap such as this:

    Sensitive to the appearance that they were profiting from the war and already under pressure because of record high oil prices, senior officials of two of the companies, speaking only on the condition that they not be identified, said they were helping Iraq rebuild its decrepit oil industry.

    Helping Iraq? Uhm, yeah and I'm the secret love child of Sean Connery.


    (as to the thread title, Sinclair-the gas company with a dinosaur mascot, alleges that they do not bring product in from Iraq, among other places)
     
  2. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Whatever else they're doing, they are helping Iraq rebuild its decrepit oil industry.
    Do they have other more mercenary motives ... like, say, making some bucks?
    Of course. They're businesses. That's what businesses do.
    This is news?
     
    #2 D_Gunther Snotpole, Jun 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  3. Deno

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    jeesh way to much to read
     
  4. ManlyBanisters

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    ^ Best post ever ^

    Not! Obviously :rolleyes:

    I agree with Rubi - whatever the motives there is rebuilding going on and there is at least some benefit to Iraq happening. How much they will see of any profits is debatable, the motivation of the oil companies is somewhat less debatable ($$$ - well, actually €€€, if they had any sense).
     
  5. Deno

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    Most of what gets rebuilt is destroy by bombing, the US is having a horrible time at rebuilding Iraqs infrastructure. The Iraq people are complaining that they don't have utilities but we can't fix the stuff when it keeps getting blown up buy extremists. I heard once that gas was only 40 cents a gallon. Maybe they should raise that to like 4 bucks and use that money to rebuild. Its funny though that there basically leaving anything related to oil alone.
     
    #5 Deno, Jun 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  6. Northland

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    There is little truth to the idea that they are actually helping Iraq. Well, maybe there is truth, if, you mean the upper levels of government. The people are not being helped. Point of fact-and I speak from experience and family connections there-the oil biggies will scrape down the land to get what they want, they will work hand on the ass with the government (and they aren't choosy, they'll fondle any government leader of the moment in order to get what they want) and remove people who have lived on land for generations. Businesses rarely actually provide help to the citizens. To some degree you acknowledged this when you indicated mercenary motives on their part. Mercenaries are not known for being decent when the money is waved in front of them. I have no beef with business being business, my objection is what they are doing to the people and without any care. Their allegation that they are helping is Public Relations, plain, pure and simple, nothing else.
     
  7. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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    OIL?In Iraq? No way!:biggrin1:

    Iraq could have largest oil reserves in the world - Times Online

    Hopefully this is actual proven reserves and not Proven, Possible, Probable. Which is how in 1985 the OPEC countries started DOUBLING their "proven reserves" with NO new major discoveries. How is that credible or possible? The western desert area of Iraq has gone largely unexplored for 20 or 30years and the great hope is that there will be another Ghawar (largest in the world) or Burgan_Field, (and both of those have peaked) Highly unlikely although anything is possible.

    SaudiArabia has had 264,000,000,000 (that's billion) barrels of oil as proven reserves for yearrrrrrrs now. They pump about 10,000,000 barrels a day. How can that be? You pump 3,650,000,000 per year for years and still have the same amount when you started? :confused: It's a shell game. The politicians know it.

    Nothing like a friendly democratic country to sell you cheap oil :rolleyes: Let's see where can we find that. You can't, so let's create it :rolleyes:
     
  8. jason_els

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    How is it possible? Because OPEC decided that daily pumping quotas, and therefore revenues, would be based upon, "proven," reserves. The more reserves you have, the more you get to pump out every day! To this day, Saudi has never published its true reserves. However, if you talk to western oil engineers who have worked in Saudi, then you know that Saudi is pumping in millions of gallons of sea water to maintain pressure in Ghawar and engaging in side drilling. Both are indications that Ghawar is past peak.



    The oil companies involved in this no-bid deal are the same ones who pressed Clinton to go to war in Iraq to get a bigger piece of their declining petrol pie and convinced Bush to actually do it. For anyone who says this wasn't primarily about the oil, this is proof positive that it is indeed, about the oil.

    We're filling our cars with the blood of allied soldiers and Iraqi civilians. Perhaps it's poetic justice that just now we're paying attention to how much gas costs at the pump. I hope it will force us to realize the cost in lives.
     
  9. marleyisalegend

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    Oh my goodness do they seriously think they're fooling anyone? I feel insulted that they think I'm too dumb to recognize their BLATANT greed, that helping Iraq thing is a bullshit to put make-up on a nasty old ugly greedy glutonous pig.
     
  10. jason_els

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    They certainly do. The vast majority of people in the US have no clue how Iraq was planned, envisioned, or who are the backers of Bush and his pals from PNAC (whose web account has been suspended for non-payment :wink:). They have not looked at PNAC's funding sources which are open to the public, nor have they delved into the history of PNAC's prominent members. In this era of soundbites and kitten-in-a-tree stories making the network prime time news, people just do not have the time, or inclination, to know.
     
  11. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    Oil production will give the government revenue to help in rebuilding infrastructure. That was the original idea.
    The government will probably use the money inefficiently, much will be lost to corruption, and many things rebuilt will be destroyed by the resistance.
    That's the nature of the beast now.
    Nevertheless, the oil revenue will make a contribution to rebuilding.
    How significant it will prove, we don't know.
    I wouldn't for a minute disagree with you about your remarks about how small people will be displaced. That too, sadly, is the nature of the beast.
    Doesn't mean that there aren't intentions to serve some larger good.
    (Public relations, BTW, can serve someone's interests without being false.)

    Call me naive, but I don't agree.
    To be sure, there's no way the access to oil would have discouraged any oil men or high government officials.
    But ideas count in this world, something we too easily forget.
    I think Dubya & Co. very sincerely hoped to spark a wave of democratization in the Middle East by forcing democracy upon Iraq.
    The PNAC and others of that ilk seem to me to be true believers. I wish they weren't.
    You say the oil companies that will benefit from this no-bid deal are the same that convinced Bush to invade Iraq.
    I will assume, without knowing, that that's correct.
    How do you know they convinced Bush?
    They wanted X done and Bush did X ... but that doesn't mean that theirs were the decisive inputs that impelled him to disastrous action.
     
  12. camper joe

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    Oil = $ $ $ = Greed = Corruption.
     
  13. Elmer Gantry

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    This is the most interesting point of all that no one wants to talk about......................
     
  14. petergroot

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    Senor, I have always respected your opinions. But this once, methinks you have to face facts. This "war" was about OIL, profits, payback for the multinationals(read oil companies) who put that puppet in the white house.
    Your democracy has been hijacked, the media is owned and not free, WMD(what's that? huh?) never existed. and you think EXON/CHEVRON/ETC has the people's interest at heart?
    I work offshore in SE Asia oil industry, and I have seen "progress" brought to regions where oil gas is pumped.
    Oil companies cares FUCK-ALL. It's greed , is all.
     
  15. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    Well, we'll have to disagree about that. I'm not saying that the war had nothing to do with the fact that Iraq had large deposits. I am saying that many other factors were at play, one of the most important being the neocon fantasy that the risk of further terrorist action against the West would be reduced if democracy took root in the Middle East.
    This was on the theory, widely held, that democracies don't go to war with each other.
    Do you really think Bush was saying, "Okay, oil barons, you put me in office ... so now you get to go to Iraq and bleed the country dry?" If you do, I find that several degrees of cynicism too far.
    (But please know, I am no admirer of Dubya at all.)

    Whose democracy? The Americans'? I am Canadian.
    No absolute democracy exists anywhere.
    If you mean Iraqi democracy, well, of course you're right. The exercise was futile and stupid ... which is not to say that there will never be democracy in Iraq. Who knows?

    This is not news.
    But my hunch is that Bush & Co. did believe in their existence for a long time.
    You have to remember that even Bill Clinton believed in their existence, and he is no toady in the Republican pocket.
    Now you have the luxury of hindsight. Wonderful. But don't let yourself forget how perceptions had been forged during the time leading up to the war.
    Many intelligence agencies, several of them in Europe, did believe that Saddam Hussein had significant numbers of WMD.

    Of course not. They have their own profit in mind. But a portion of the revenue from oil sales would go to the Iraqi government for rebuilding. That depended in no way on the altruism of the oil companies.
    Where did you get the idea that I thought EXXON & c. had any interest other than their own bottom line?
    The oil companies here in Canada have their own interest cardinally in mind, but that doesn't mean that the provincial governments (mostly Alberta's) don't hugely benefit from the corporate exploitation of oil deposits.

    Well, there are some terrible stories (Nigeria, etc.).
    I know all that.
    I don't really disagree with this statement.
    It's Capitalism 101.
    But it doesn't tell much about what's behind this latest report out of Iraq.
     
  16. jason_els

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    It's important to note that the companies which received the no-bid contracts are the exact companies to have been displaced when Iraqi's oil industry was nationalized.

    Plans for Iraq go back to PNAC's January 16, 1998 letter to Bill Clinton.

    During the 2000/2001 transition period, Bush's cabinet and other appointees were essentially hand-picked by the team he referred to as, "The Vulcans." Most of these people had served in George Senior's administration and were appointed based on recommendations of Dubya's daddy.

    Jeb Bush, the President's brother, was a member of PNAC. Other PNAC members (most were also Vulcans) and signatories who found high level positions within the first Bush administration:

    Dick Cheney
    Scooter Libby
    Carl Rove
    Donald Rumsfeld
    Richard Perle
    Paul Wolfowitz
    Francis Fukuyama
    John Bolton
    Dick Armitage
    Robert Zoellick
    Peter Rodman

    and others.

    Why would PNAC care so much about Iraq? Well, I looked at PNAC's funding. PNAC is not directly funded by oil companies, that is too blatant. You have to dig deeper by looking at who is on PNAC's board and who funds the organizations which fund PNAC. PNAC is funded by three other foundations, one of which was founded and funded by the Mellons via the Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation (major holders of Shell Oil), The John M. Olin Foundation (who founded Olin Corporation, a munitions manufacturer), and The Bradley Foundation which used to have PNAC headman, Bill Kristol, as its Director of Operations (formed from the Bradley-Allen Company, a subsidiary of Rockwell International, a major weapons manufacturer).

    "Imagine what the region would look like without Saddam and with a regime that's aligned with U.S. interests. It would change everything in the region and beyond. It would demonstrate what U.S. policy is all about." - Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to President Bush, January 30, 2001 as reported by Secretary of Education Paul O'Neill.

    The people present at the following meeting, February 1, 2001, were sent a memo from the Defense Intelligence Agency:

    The other insider, perhaps the most damning of all, is Falah al Jibury, an Iraqi-American oil consultant.

    It must be noted that a story like the following would NEVER make it into big American media. Like the 2000 election result scandals, Americans were only told half the truth by their media. Europe and other nations were told things never reported by American media. It's not that Americans are apathetic, it's just that they don't know because nobody they trust told them:

    Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan admitted the same, "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil." -The Age of Turbulence

    The Downing Street Memo speaks of, "fixing facts," and proves that the White House had made preparations for war as early as 2002 though subsequently insiders, such as Secretary O'Neill, argue that plans go back even further. Given that most of Bush's most important people were all PNAC members and PNAC had already advocated war against Iraq as far back as 1998, and given evidence from sources such as the Downing Street Memo and Secretary O'Neill, Chairman Greenspan, and Richard Clarke (who had authority and access to such information), it must be concluded that war with Iraq was a forgone conclusion even before the 2001 inaugeration. As the Downing Street Memo showed, facts would be made to gain public support for the plan.

    As I have stated here before, oil was not the only issue, but it was the main issue.
     
  17. Elmer Gantry

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    Why not? It's not like western governments haven't done this before. Mossadeq, Allende, Nasser all tried to privatise in the face of US and UK business interests only to fall victim to a government backed, officially sanctioned coup de tat,

    This is sadly becoming all too common. Maybe the Iraqis just want to be free of us? (I stole that from Bob Fisk)

    This was pure fantasy and is the dictionary definition of grasping at straws. It's nearly as bad and ignorant as trying to associate Saddam with Bin Laden.

    But it would be so much more money flowing back if a fair and true tender process was undertaken for these contracts.And It would be even more were it an Iraqi owned company, would it not?

    I'm ashamed to say that my very own government tried this on the Timorese after they declared independence, with our help. We then promptly tried to screw them out of the bit of their own territorial waters that had all the natural gas.

    Oil companies behave like sociopathic criminals. And this from someone who once worked as a flak man for big oil. I still feel dirty thinking about that job.
     
  18. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    All companies are sociopathic by definition. They are legally created to be legal individuals yet have a whole separate body of law devoted to their existence. They have no soul, no empathy, no sense of social duty save what their leadership imbues. This is even blatantly stated in the duties of officers of a corporation. They are legally entrusted to maximize profits for their shareholders using any and all legal means they can. There is no mention of being, "a good citizen.' It is an organization devoted to entirely selfish interests with no regard to the damage (or good) done to the society in which it operates.
     
  19. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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    I see you've seen the movie The Corporation. Excellent documentary The Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Anyway back to subject at hand.

    I'm surprised to see that Total (the French oil giant) will be involved. Well France and Russia were against the Iraq war from the start, they also had loans out to the country of around $8 Billion. I guess there is some payback or ass kissing to make things right. I wonder who will get which oil fields.
     
  20. Northland

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    Um...yes, they do think that they are fooling people.

    Displacing the regular people for the sake of the greedy is not the answer. In your own reply you seem unsure as to whether or not the common person will see any gain; "Probably use inefficiently...much lost to corruption..." Yes, it is dressed up as if it is meant to help (and there are no doubt some, who truly do expect and want this to help); however, the same has been said of the invasions of Iraq over the past hundred years and the truth has, although, usually far too late, been shown-repeatedly.

    I never said PR is necessarily false, just that in the case of what we are seeing now, it is, most definitely false. The Iraqi people are not going to be helped. A few upper level current government officials of Iraq will do quite well from these deals, as will the oil companies. Al-amiri will not do so well as his family is shoved off the land in the dead of night (cousin Abby might do decently, seeing as he has always played his cards well).

    I will not continue to argue this, as we clearly come at the matter from different directions. I see a country for which I still hold a great affection, you see one which matters more or mainly from an observer's viewpoint. This doesn't make either of us right or wrong. I see your words, comprehend, but, must disagree, just as you may well do with mine. That's part of what makes life interesting.

    I am surprised by nothing in the whole farce. (perhaps farce is too nice a word-I'll possibly get back to you on that one)
     
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