IRAQ BRIEFING #4: OIL, OIL, OIL
1) Scramble to carve up Iraqi oil reserves lies behind US diplomacy
2) Its Official: US oil at the heart of Iraq crisis
3) Spoils of War In Iraq War, to the Victor Goes the Oil
4) Oil firms wait as Iraq crisis unfolds
5) Russia fears US oil companies will take over world's second-biggest reserves
6) The word from the CIA: it's the oil, stupid
7) In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is Key Issue
8) West's greed for oil fuels Saddam fever
9) West sees glittering prizes ahead in giant oilfields
Scramble to carve up Iraqi oil reserves lies behind US
Maneuvres shaped by horse-trading between America, Russia and France
over control of untapped oil fields
Ed Vulliamy in New York, Paul Webster in Paris, and Nick Paton Walsh in
Moscow Sunday October 6, 2002 The Observer
Oil is emerging as the key factor in US attempts to secure the support
of Russia and France for military action against Iraq, according to an
The Bush administration, intimately entwined with the global oil
industry, is keen to pounce on Iraq's massive untapped reserves, the
second biggest in the world after Saudi Arabia's. But France and Russia,
who hold a power of veto on the UN Security Council, have billion-dollar
contracts with Baghdad, which they fear will disappear in 'an oil grab
by Washington', if America installs a successor to Saddam.
Official: US oil at the heart of Iraq crisis
By Neil Mackay
President Bush's Cabinet agreed in April 2001 that 'Iraq remains a
destabilising influence to the flow of oil to international markets from
the Middle East' and because this is an unacceptable risk to the US
'military intervention' is necessary.
Vice-president Dick Cheney, who chairs the White House Energy Policy
Development Group, commissioned a report on 'energy security' from the
Baker Institute for Public Policy, a think-tank set up by James Baker,
the former US secretary of state under George Bush Snr.
The report, Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century,
concludes: 'The United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma.
Iraq remains a de- stabilising influence to ... the flow of oil to
international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also
demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use
his own export programme to manipulate oil markets. Therefore the US
should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including
military, energy, economic and political/ diplomatic
'The United States should then develop an integrated strategy with key
allies in Europe and Asia, and with key countries in the Middle East, to
restate goals with respect to Iraqi policy and to restore a cohesive
coalition of key allies.'
Spoils of War In Iraq War, to the Victor Goes the Oil
Analysis From The Editors of Nightline
Oct. 4 -- Saddam Hussein is sitting on a gold mine -- the second-largest
oil reserve in the world -- and everyone wants a piece of it.
Oil is a consideration for nations considering joining in the fight if
the United States goes to war in the Persian Gulf, because the day after
Saddam is removed, the Iraqi oil industry is up for grabs.
Of all of the reasons offered for removing Saddam, from terrorism to
terrible weapons, oil is seldom mentioned. Yet critical to the American
agenda is the fear an Iraq armed with nuclear weapons could dominated,
or hold hostage a region through which flows an estimated 30 percent of
the world's oil and natural gas.
Similar worries about the world's oil supply figured heavily in the 1991
Gulf War, and before that, concerns Iran might capture critical oil
fields led the United States to support Iraq in the war between those
And now, oil is a consideration in the continuing drama at the United
Nations. France and Russia, both with veto power in the Security
Council, have extensive oil interests in Iraq.
Oil firms wait as Iraq crisis unfolds
Robert Collier, Chronicle Staff Writer Sunday, September 29,
The world's biggest oil bonanza in recent memory may be just around the
corner, giving U.S. oil companies huge profits and American consumers
cheap gasoline for decades to come.
And it all may come courtesy of a war with Iraq.
While debate intensifies about the Bush administration's policy, oil
analysts and Iraqi exile leaders believe a new, pro-Western government
-- assuming it were to replace Saddam Hussein's regime -- would prompt
U.S. and multinational petroleum giants to rush into Iraq, dramatically
increasing the output of a nation whose oil reserves are second only to
that of Saudi Arabia.
"There already is a stampede, with the Russians, French and Italians
already lined up," said Lawrence Goldstein, president of the Petroleum
Industry Research Foundation, a New York think tank funded by large oil
Russia fears US oil companies will take over world's second-biggest
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
26 September 2002
Oil companies from around the world are manoeuvring for the
multibillion-dollar bonanza that would follow the ousting of Saddam
Russia is so concerned that it has been holding secretive talks with the
Iraqi opposition to shore up its economic interests in the country which
still owes Moscow $7bn dollars from Soviet times.
With the second-biggest reserves in the world, Iraq's underdeveloped
oilfields have become a key negotiating chip and a backdrop to talks
between the US and the other permanent members of the UN Security
Council - all of which have major economic stakes in regime change in
The word from the CIA: it's the oil, stupid September 23,
Who should be more worried, asks Kenneth Davidson, Saddam; or the French
and Russian oil companies presently in Iraq?
France and Russia have oil companies and interests in Iraq. They should
be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq towards decent
government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government
and American companies will work with them. If they throw their lot with
Saddam, it will be difficult to the point of impossible to persuade the
new Iraq government to work with them. Former CIA director James
Woolsey, quoted in The Washington Post, September 15, 2002.
So there you have it. The Bush administration may be telling the world
that the reason the UN Security Council has to approve an allied attack
on Iraq is because of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability, but
the real reason France and Russia are being told to get on board the US
military bandwagon is Iraq's oil reserves.
According to The Washington Post, all five permanent members of the
Security Council - the US, Britain, France, Russia and China - have
international oil companies with major stakes in a change of leadership
in Baghdad. The Washington Post is one of the major media vehicles
through which members of the American establishment talk to each
In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is Key Issue U.S. Drillers Eye Huge Petroleum
By Dan Morgan and David B. Ottaway Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 15, 2002; Page A01
A U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza
for American oil companies long banished from Iraq, scuttling oil deals
between Baghdad and Russia, France and other countries, and reshuffling
world petroleum markets, according to industry officials and leaders of
the Iraqi opposition.
Although senior Bush administration officials say they have not begun to
focus on the issues involving oil and Iraq, American and foreign oil
companies have already begun maneuvering for a stake in the country's
huge proven reserves of 112 billion barrels of crude oil, the largest in
the world outside Saudi Arabia.
West's greed for oil fuels Saddam fever
Anthony Sampson analyses the roots of America's fear of the Iraqi
dictator,and warns that toppling him might cause less stability and more
The Observer, August 11, 2002
Is the projected war against Iraq really turning into an oil war, aimed
at safeguarding Western energy supplies as much as toppling a dangerous
dictator and source of terrorism? Of course no one can doubt the genuine
American hatred of Saddam Hussein, but recent developments in Washington
suggest oil may loom larger than democracy or human rights in American
The alarmist briefing to the Pentagon by the Rand Corporation, leaked
last week, talked about Saudi Arabia as 'the kernel of evil' and
proposed that Washington should have a showdown with its former ally, if
necessary seizing its oilfields which have been crucial to America's
And the more anxious oil companies become about the stability of Saudi
Arabia, the more they become interested in gaining access to Iraq, site
of the world's second biggest oil reserves, which are denied to
Times (UK), July 11, 2002
West sees glittering prizes ahead in giant oilfields
By Michael Theodoulou in Nicosia and Roland Watson
THE removal of President Saddam Hussein would open Iraqs rich new
oilfields to Western bidders and bring the prospect of lessening
dependence on Saudi oil.
No other country offers such untapped oilfields whose exploitation could
lessen tensions over the Western presence in Saudi Arabia.
After Kuwait's liberation by US-led forces in 1991, America monopolised
the postwar deals, but the need to win international support for an
invasion is unlikely to see a repeat.
Russia, in particular, and France and China all permanent members of the
United Nations Security Council have high hopes of prising promises of
contracts in a liberated Iraq from a United States that may need their
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