NOTED HERE IN MAY ’twas Greg Palast’s detailed report on the rift between the Oil Mafia and the Likud Lobbyists within the Cheney-Bush White House as to whether or not to “privatize” Iraq’s oilfields and take them out of OPEC.
To remind: Palast reports persuasively, in his 2006 book ARMED MADHOUSE, that the Likud Lobbyists created and foisted this plan, as a way to undermine OPEC/Saudi power. And that the Oil Mafia resisted the plan, and in late 2003 crushed it, since it profits mightily from the OPEC structure.
But then in 2006 the privatization plan took shape again under Wolfowitz’s hand at the World Bank. And Iraqi legislature such as it is passed a vague law going that way in … April, if memory serves.Ã‚Â See here for more background.
NOW TODAY we have what seems to now be the third largest U.S. integrated oil giant, Conoco-Phillips (COP on the NYSE), saying, heck, we’d like a piece of that stuff:
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — ConocoPhillips (COP) CEO Jim Mulva said on a conference call with analysts that the company is interested in investing in Iraq’s oil industry.
With the Iraqi government grappling with oil legislation, Wall Street Access analyst Bernie Picci asked about the company’s aspirations in the country.
Mulva said the company continues to work with Lukoil — its Russian partner in which it owns a 20% stake — to confirm a West Purna contract in Iraq.
Mulva said the company hopes to set up projects once, “security is sorted out and the rules and regulations of oil and gas policy are sorted out.”
Mulva also said, “We’d like to invest, but of course obviously, as you know, things have to sort out first before we can do that.