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Report outlines plans: corporate plunder of Iraq

Report outlines plans for corporate plunder of Iraqi oil

By James Cogan - World Socialist Web Site

A report published in November by the London-based environmental and social justice network Platform makes clear that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was, and remains, a war for oil. The document, entitled “Crude Designs: the rip-off of Iraq’s oil wealth”, is a concise review of how Iraq’s vast energy resources, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, will be handed to transnational companies over the next several years.

“Crude Designs” found that if just 12 of Iraq’s undeveloped fields are contracted in a similar fashion to comparable oil fields in Libya, Oman and Russia, transnationals will reap profits of between $74 billion and $194 billion in 2006 dollars over a 30-year period. The estimate, which the report describes as “conservative”, is based on an oil price of $40 per barrel. The current price is closer to $60 per barrel.

The actual bonanza for the oil giants from the invasion of Iraq could run into the trillions. Out of the country’s 80 known fields, just 17 are currently in production. A further 63 undeveloped fields have an estimated 75 billion barrels of oil, while industry experts believe between 100 billion and 200 billion barrels lie in unexplored fields. The country also has enormous untapped reserves of natural gas.

The Platform report establishes that control over these resources was the primary motive for the war. The first chapter draws attention to the discussion in US and British ruling circles on the strategic importance of dominating the oil and gas of the Persian Gulf. It cites the May 2001 report of the Bush administration’s Energy Task Force, which was headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. The findings declared: “The Gulf will be the primary focus of US international energy policy.”

The terror attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, just four months later, were used to set in motion long-held plans for the military conquest of the region.

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