The Shock Doctrine

Disaster Capitalism in Action: oil

Peter Galbraith, U.S. Adviser to Kurds, Stands to Reap Oil Profits

James Glanz and Walter Gibbs, New York Times, November 12, 2009

"Now Mr. [Peter] Galbraith, 58, son of the renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith, stands to earn perhaps a hundred million or more dollars as a result of his closeness to the Kurds, his relations with a Norwegian oil company and constitutional provisions he helped the Kurds extract.

"In the constitutional negotiations, he helped the Kurds ram through provisions that gave their region — rather than the central Baghdad government — sole authority over many of their internal affairs, including clauses that he maintains will give the Kurds virtually complete control over all new oil finds on their territory....

"Some officials say that his financial ties could raise serious questions about the integrity of the constitutional negotiations themselves. 'The idea that an oil company was participating in the drafting of the Iraqi Constitution leaves me speechless,' said Feisal Amin al-Istrabadi, a principal drafter of the law that governed Iraq after the United States ceded control to an Iraqi government on June 28, 2004. In effect, he said, the company 'has a representative in the room, drafting.'"

See Also:

An Inside Iraq panel about the Galbraith scandal on Al Jazeera English

An interview with Peter Galbraith on National Public Radio

Iraq Auctioning Off Contracts to Big Oil

Gina Chon, Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2009

"Next week, Iraqi officials plan a welcome-back party for Big Oil. The government intends to auction off oil contracts to foreign companies for the first time since Iraq nationalized its oil industry more than three decades ago. If all goes according to plan in the first round, foreign oil companies will move in to help Iraq revive production at six developed fields that have suffered from years of war and neglect....

"Some 120 companies expressed interest in bidding for the contracts at the June 29 and 30 auction, according to the oil ministry. Thirty-five companies qualified to bid, including Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Italy's Eni SpA, Russia's Lukoil and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec. The six oil fields at stake are believed to hold reserves of more than 43 billion barrels. Foreigners won't get the most prized piece of the action -- ownership stakes in the reserves -- but will be paid fees for ramping up output.

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