Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nonsense, I tell you, nonsense

Brian Lando posts an interview with Thamir Ghadhban, two-time Iraq oil minister whom Lando describes as the "top Iraq oilman." They discuss plans for Iraq's oil and gas future and do so in a way that is quite remarkable for its seeming lack of consideration about the security problems facing the oil industry there, especially regarding the extant and large scale oil smuggling and sabotage of these facilities (the Kirkuk-Bayji pipeline was just struck by an explosion).

Ghadhban does his best to slough off concerns about the federal oil law, that it will allow undue foreign influence over Iraq oil development and revenues.
People talking about PSAs and people converting it from a comprehensive law into whether we have a PSA or not. And there will be a rip off of the Iraq oil wealth. This is completely nonsense. Or that 70 percent of the profit will go to the foreign company, again this is completely nonsense.
Ghadhban insists that contracts will be awarded through a purely "transparent" process and -- surely comforting coming from an Iraqi government official -- that there are "anti-corruption laws" that will guarantee a happy faces all round. Despite Ghadhban's assurances, judgment shall remain reserved.


All in all, the chat is fairly benign and uninformative, unfortunately, and Lando fails to asked Ghadhban anything about the Kurdistan Regional Government passing its own regional oil law or about the recently announced PSA struck between the KRG and Hunt Oil, or about the many other companies already operating in Kurdistan, an oversight that seems, to say the least, rather glaring.

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