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,6903,805530, 00.html

Scramble to carve up Iraqi oil reserves lies behind US diplomacy

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 Observer investigation.

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 assessments.

'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.' NTL_oil_iraq_021004. html

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 two countries.

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. 29/MN116803.DTL

Oil firms wait as Iraq crisis unfolds

Robert Collier, Chronicle Staff Writer Sunday, September 29, 2002

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 companies. story=336691

Russia fears US oil companies will take over world's second-biggest reserves

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 Hussein.

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 Iraq. html

The word from the CIA: it's the oil, stupid September 23, 2002

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 other.

In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil Is Key Issue U.S. Drillers Eye Huge Petroleum Pool

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.,11581,772668,00.html

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 insecurity

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 calculations.

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 energy.

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 them.


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 political support.

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