Thursday, July 03, 2008

Mission Accomplished

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The New York Times reports a group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and five major Western oil companies to develop some of the largest oil fields in Iraq. The disclosure marks the first confirmation of direct involvement by the Bush administration in deals to open Iraq’s oil to commercial development.

The Times also reports the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company—Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP— as well as Chevron, are on the verge of getting no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest oil fields.

In their role as advisers to the Iraqi Oil Ministry, American government lawyers and private-sector consultants provided template contracts and detailed suggestions on drafting the contracts.