There Will Be Blood

From the NY Times:

After a year in preparation, a much-heralded auction of licenses to develop Iraq’s huge oil reserves began Tuesday but seemed to run into difficulties when oil and gas companies demanded far more remuneration than the authorities were ready to pay.

Symbolically, the sale, broadcast on television, coincided with the formal handover by American forces of security arrangements in urban areas to Iraqi forces — an economic counterpoint to the striving for political military independence underpinning the Iraqi takeover of patrolling Iraq’s restive cities.

I guess the return on our trillion dollar investment is China securing the oil rights.






20 replies
  1. 1
    calipygian says:

    Yup. Thousands of American soldiers dead, tens of thousands wounded so that Iran can run the country and China can exploit it.

    Heck of a job, Bushie!

  2. 2
    Cat Lady says:

    But.. but… but… Saddam Hussein was a bad man!

  3. 3
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    Wow. This is an amazingly symbolic moment. It’s the very moment when America hands over the flag of dominant world superpower to China. I mean, we’ve been building toward this moment ever since 2003, but this really makes it official.

    Wow.

  4. 4
    vishnu schizt says:

    But, according to reporters watching the auction, the first round of bidding for the vast Rumaila field — the biggest on offer — stalled when Exxon Mobil and a consortium of BP and the China National Petroleum Corp. both wanted to earn more than the government’s offer of $2 for each barrel above a guaranteed minimum production level. Exxon said it would produce 3.1 million barrels daily with each additional barrel at a fee of $4.80, news reports said. The BP consortium said it would produce 2.85 million barrels a day and wanted $3.99 for each additional barrel. The Iraqi authorities said they would give the two companies several hours to revise their bids. Before the time was up, the BP consortium agreed to accept the government offer of $2 per barrel, winning the bid. Once a bid is accepted by Hussain al-Shahristani, the oil minister, it must receive final approval from Parliament.

    So it seems BP/China won. I’m waiting for the Mission Accomplished banner at BP HQTRS and in Red Square. I assume ex-president Cheney is pleased?

  5. 5
    MikeJ says:

    I guess the return on our trillion dollar investment is China securing the oil rights.

    China is paying the owners of the oil. Those owners didn’t ask us to spend three trillion dollars bowing up their country. They get to sell their oil to whoever they want.

  6. 6
    someguy says:

    So now we’re pissed because the U.S. *isn’t* getting to take the oil, and the mineral rights appear to have been sold in an open and transparent bidding process?

    Maybe I missed the memo on how this is a bad thing.

    I’d have thought we’d be happy to see The Empire divesting itself of the Iraqi asset.

  7. 7
    4tehlulz says:

    @MikeJ: That’s the perverse beauty of the Bush/Cheney administration; they couldn’t even steal resources with any competence.

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    @someguy: I’m not pissed. The whole thing just seems sort of tragic.

  9. 9
    Mudge says:

    If the Iraqi government is paying the oil companies to develop the fields, then the government would appear to retain ownership of the oil. So, the Iraqis appear to not be letting Exxon-Mobil rip them off on the development deal. It does not seem that the Chinese will own the oil at all, just provide it to Iraq for ultimate OPEC sale to US refiners.

    This is a business deal and I am unsure where our trillion comes into play, except maybe the Iraqis should have given Exxon-Mobil the development rights as gratitude for all we did in Iraq or empathy for the US.

  10. 10
    vishnu schizt says:

    @someguy: Pissed? Not the word I’d chose, more like flabergasted. Bush/Cheney sold us this clusterfuck on so many lies I’m not sure which category of lies this directly contradicts, perhaps category 2.4 – The War Will Pay for Itself. Well shit even if Exxon did win, they don ‘t pay fucking taxes anyway so thanks for playing!

    Anyway you are right we ‘mericans should be happy that 5000 + military personnel, somewhere around 1 million Iraqis, and who knows how many others died so we could have:

    the mineral rights… sold in an open and transparent bidding process

    That makes it all worthwhile!

  11. 11
    vishnu schizt says:

    One last thing for everyone, the whole fucking point of the war was TEH OIL.

  12. 12
    NonyNony says:

    @vishnu schizt:

    Bush/Cheney sold us this clusterfuck on so many lies I’m not sure which category of lies this directly contradicts, perhaps category 2.4 – The War Will Pay for Itself. Well shit even if Exxon did win, they don ‘t pay fucking taxes anyway so thanks for playing!

    Don’t forget the war reparations our children or possibly our grandchildren will be having to pay out to the Iraqis down the line. The whole war was a violation of international laws for war, and as we get further and further from the war itself, that is going to become less of a debatable point. Someone is going to come back and demand recompense on that fact in the not so distant future.

    This war is going to be the albatross that keeps on giving for a good century or more.

  13. 13
    BigSwami says:

    What’s funny is that Kuwait actually did use a very long straw to drink Iraq’s milkshake, and I’d be astonished if they are not still drinking it up. We are already buying a lot from them…

  14. 14
    Faux News says:

    Well at least we will be greated with flowers and dancing in Beijing. Thanks neocons!

  15. 15
    Augustine says:

    anyone know the Mandarin for “we are in ur enduring freedom, drinking all ur milkshakz”?

  16. 16
    Jim-Bob says:

    With the results only now coming in, I guess John was right in 2003–it really WASN’T a war for oil…

  17. 17
    Jon H says:

    You have to wonder if Cheney was so US-focused that he simply assumed some US company would eventually get the rights to the oil.

    “What? China? They have oil companies??”

  18. 18
    scarshapedstar says:

    People here seem to be operating under the assumption that Bush/Cheney were not actively working to destroy the United States of America.

    Given that they stole the fucking White House in a coup (nope, haven’t gotten over it) everything that followed is exactly as predictable as some punk crashing a hotwired car in a ditch after a joyride and setting it on fire. They knew that this country didn’t want them from the outset, and so they set about dismantling it.

    And now, Bush has a massive estate in Paraguay, and Cheney moved Halliburton to Dubai. The smash-and-grab is over.

    We tried to warn the dumbshit rednecks, we really did. But when the deepest political thought any of them have rattling around in their tiny brains is “Al Gore said he invented the internet, and the refrigerator! LOL!” then this country really does just deserve to get raped and pillaged. Nobody is that stupid in China. Time for the curtain call.

  19. 19
    Johnny B. Guud says:

    Digby has an interesting take on the same news story.

  20. 20
    Anne Laurie says:

    You have to wonder if Cheney was so US-focused that he simply assumed some US company would eventually get the rights to the oil.

    Not if you assume that Cheney cared less about protecting the US than he did about transferring the profits from Iraq’s oil reserves to a giant multinational, any multinational, that would pay Cheney a commission.

    I’m not saying Cheney actually took money from China in advance of Dubya’s Big Mideast Adventure, but I do believe he assumed that whichever Big Petro organization ended up “winning” the Iraq concession would end up repaying Dick or Dick’s daughters in some form. From what I understand, China’s oligarchs are far less likely to oblige with management fees, richly compensated board memberships, etc. than would the usual (Western) subjects, but that just means that Cheney failed to appreciate China’s business acumen the same way he failed to understand so many other political/business factors that have changed since Dick started working for Nixon in the 1970s.

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