Iraqi Oil Ministry Woos Western Petro-Giants

With end of the Bush administration in sight, Iraq courts big oil directly.

So it appears the Iraqi Oil Ministry waited until the final months of the Bush administration to open the store for Western petrogiants. Call it a parting present. Now that we know the U.S. "advised" the ministry on giving no-bid contracts to Exxon, Shell, Total and BP, the Washington Post gives an overview of what Minister Hussain Shahristani -- a former exile who's sympathetic to both the U.S. and Iran -- plans to give Big Oil:

Shahristani said 35 companies -- including firms from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and India -- had been selected to bid on long-term contracts to provide services, equipment, training and advice on the country's biggest oil fields, which have suffered from age, technological neglect and mismanagement during years of war and economic sanctions.
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