(MEBG) — Iraq has decided not to sign further upstream deals with foreign oil firms unless they are prepared to implement projects on the ground immediately. Reuters reported that the country would no longer sign any production and exploration agreements, unless the companies involved are willing to start work immediately, before United Nations sanctions are lifted.
The Iraqi demand evidently is a result of Iraqi distress at the behavior of Chinese and Russian consortiums, who signed exploration and development agreements, but thus far have confined their activities to in-house engineering and consulting work in their home countries.
The new Iraqi policy will concern and apply to all international oil companies, including state firms from “friendly”' countries, such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Algeria and India, which have been negotiating with Iraq for several years.
In recent times Iraq has managed to crank up it’s oil production and lure international firms, who have been awaiting the lifting of sanctions to get their hands on lucrative projects. According to a recent MEES newsletter, Iraqi products, and particularly gas oil, will soon be exported to Turkey, which is planning to increase its border trade with Iraq outside the oil-for-food program.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )