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Saturday, March 03, 2007

New Iraqi Oil Law Seen as Cover for Privatization

"WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (IPS) - The U.S.-backed Iraqi cabinet approved a new oil law Monday that is set to give foreign companies the long-term contracts and safe legal framework they have been waiting for, but which has rattled labour unions and international campaigners who say oil production should remain in the hands of Iraqis.

"Independent analysts and labour groups have also criticised the process of drafting the law and warned that that the bill is so skewed in favour of foreign firms that it could end up heightening political tensions in the Arab nation and spreading instability.

"For example, it specifies that up to two-thirds of Iraq's known reserves would be developed by multinationals, under contracts lasting for 15 to 20 years.

"This policy would represent a u-turn for Iraq's oil industry, which has been in the public sector for more than three decades, and would break from normal practice in the Middle East.

Found on Talking About Iraq
Killing Hundreds of Thousands of Iraqis to Get Iraqi Oil

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