Iraq Halts Oil Accords with Foreign Companies
Iraq has decided not to sign any more upstream accords with international oil firms unless they are prepared to start work on the ground before UN sanctions are lifted, Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) reported Monday.
"The policy reflects Iraq's frustration with the lack of progress on the part of the Russians and the Chinese towards carrying out any exploration or development work in Iraq itself," said the Cyprus-based specialist weekly.
Iraq signed accords with Russian and Chinese consortiums in 1997 but they have restricted their work to "in-house engineering and consulting work in their home countries", MEES said.
The newsletter said Iraq's decision applied to all international oil companies, including in pro-Baghdad countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, India and Algeria, which have been negotiating buy-back deals and exploration and production accords.
Iraq has been under economic sanctions ever since its August 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It is authorized to export crude under UN supervision to finance imports of essential goods - BAGHDAD (AFP)
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