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[casi] Future Iraq Oil Sales May Be Pawned To Banks

Future oil sales may be pawned to banks
David Teather in New York
Saturday May 31, 2003
The Guardian,3604,967490,00.html

American officials are considering a plan to use Iraq's future oil and gas revenues as collateral 
to raise cash to rebuild the country.

Several US companies, including Halliburton and Bechtel, which are jostling for the lucrative 
reconstruction contracts, are reportedly pushing the scheme to expedite the commissioning process.

Although the UN security council approved the resumption of oil exports from Iraq last week, 
production has been hampered by looting.

But the plan raises questions about whether the interim authority, which is under US auspices, 
should tie up the country's future oil and gas revenues. It may also create problems for the 
permanent Iraqi authority, which may seek to examine the contracts handed out by its forerunner.

Under the proposals, the loans would be made by government-backed agencies in the US, Britain and 
Australia, as well as the commercial banking sector. Iraq's annual oil exports could reach $25bn 

It was disclosed yesterday that Halliburton, the oil services company formerly run by the US 
vice-president, Dick Cheney, has already received contracts worth $500m related to Iraq.

The Democratic congressman Henry Waxman, who has called for an inquiry into the links between 
Halliburton and the Bush administration, obtained the $500m figure from the US army. He warned that 
the company's future revenues in Iraq were "limitless".

Halliburton has completed about $71m of work to extinguish oil-well fires lit during the conflict. 
It has also earned $425m in Iraq-related projects under a wide-ranging contract awarded at the end 
of 2001.

"It is simply remarkable that a single company could earn so much money from the war in Iraq," Mr 
Waxman said in a letter to Les Brownlee, the acting secretary of the army.

Guardian Unlimited  Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

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