Thursday, July 3, 2008

Kurds and Central Government Sign Secret Deal on Oil

Azzam in English reports that Jaber Khaleefa of the Iraqi parliament's Oil and Gas Committee has said that a secret deal has been signed between the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi central government, presumably the Oil Ministry, on oil deals. This deal allows the Kurds "to extend their political autonomy over their oil riches." This deal reflects on the one side an inability to get an oil bill passed in the central parliament, while on the other hand there is not enough support in the parliament to block any deals being signed by the executive authorities of either government. So far the KRG has 17 such deals and the central government now has 35. Generally, the central government tends to sign with big major firms like Exxon Mobil, while the Kurds tend to sign with smaller minors, with the biggest fuss having been about their deal last year with Hunt Oil, owned by strong Bush backer, Ray Hunt, also a member of his Foreign Intelligence Oversight Board.

Regarding the central government deals, much of the focus in recent days has been on no-bid short term contracts that have been signed with five big majors, including Total of France, as well as such old Seven Sisters as Royal Dutch Shell and BP, in addition to Exxon Mobil and Chevron (the latter having swallowed up the other two, Gulf and Texaco). However, officially rules for longer term contracts are supposed to be set by an official law, but none has been passed, and for now it looks like none will be passed. What seems to be operative is this secret deal.


Myrtle Blackwood said...

Hmmm, Ray Hunt of 'Hunt Oil'. It sounds incestuous. Is he related to Haroldson L {"Everything I do, I do for profit") Hunt? I take it that the latter is the founder of Hunt oil.

Whoever Ray Hunt is, it seems that he rules the world:
"[Ray Hunt] now serves as Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Hunt Consolidated, Inc.; Chairman of the Board and CEO of Hunt Oil Company; and Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President, RRH Corporation. He has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hunt Private Equity Group since its inception in 1990.[2]

Hunt was appointed in October 2001 by President George Walker Bush to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.[3]

Hunt joined the Halliburton Company Board in 1998. He is Chairman of the Compensation Committee and member of the Audit and the Management Oversight Committees. He also serves as a member of the boards of directors of PepsiCo, Inc., King Ranch, Inc., Electronic Data Systems Corporation, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and Security Capital Group Incorporated.[2][1][3]

Hunt currently serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.; the Board of Trustess for the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation;[4] at SMU Cox School of Business; the Board of Directors of the Texas Research League; the executive committee of the Southwestern Medical Foundation in Dallas; and the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University.[1]

Hunt has served as chairman of the National Petroleum Council in Washington, D.C. (an industry advisory organization for the Secretary of Energy) and served as its chairman from June 1991 to July 1994. In 1980-81 he served as president of the Domestic Petroleum Council [1] He is currently a member of the board of directors of the American Petroleum Institute. He also has served as president of the Dallas Petroleum Club.[1]..."

Myrtle Blackwood said...

By the way, it is likely that the same people who were involved in the planning and execution of the war in Iraq were the very same individuals who organised the downfall of the Australian Whitlam Government in 1975. And for similar reasons. Oil and finance.

Ministers in the Australian Labor Government were involved in schemes to "buy back the Australian farm" from the large multinationals. Rex O'Connor, Jim Cairns and others wanted to avoid borrowing infrastructure money from Wall Street and go directly to Middle Eastern Governments for petrodollars instead. With the benefit of lower interest rates. With that money they had hoped to establish a state-owned oil industry. said...

Regarding who signed this secret deal, I now suspect that the central government oil ministry is not the likely party. Indeed, they probably do not like it, being the main advocates of a general law, with them also loudly denouncing as "illegal" the various KRG deals that have been made. This was probably done around them by higher-ups.

Who is most likely? Probably PM al-Maliki for the central government with President Barzani of the KRG, possibly with Iraq's president, Talabani, who leads the other major Kurdish party besides the one led by Barzani possibly being the dealmaker.