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Rumsfeld is hastily stacking US puppets into the Bremer-appointed "Iraq Governing Council" [IGC] prior to urging United Nations to recognize the IGC as the Iraqi 'government'.. pg Excerpt from the NYT article today on Iraq oil privatization: ..."Mr Bahr al-Uloum, [now new Director-General of the Oil Ministry] who lived in London from 1992 until the US-led invasion of Iraq, joined an Iraqi delegation in talks with the State Department on the postwar future of Iraq in October last year. Fadhil Chalabi, a cousin of Ahmed Chalabi, the current rotating president of the Governing Council, also attended the talks. Mr Bahr al-Uloum says he was informed of his impending appointment three weeks ago... ..." ------------------------------------ The entire NYT September 5, 2003 article: http://tinyurl.com/mbcr Iraqi minister sees oil privatisation obstacles By Nicolas Pelham Iraq is preparing plans for the privatisation of its giant oil sector, but a decision will not be taken until after elections scheduled for two years' time, Iraq's new oil minister on Thursday told the Financial Times. "The new elected government at the end of the transitional period will decide this issue," said Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, speaking in the back streets of the Shia holy city of Najaf where his father is a senior cleric and member of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council. "The Iraqi oil sector needs privatisation, but it's a cultural issue," he said. "People lived for the last 30 to 40 years with this idea of nationalism." Iraq nationalised the Iraq Petroleum Company in 1972. Iraq has proven reserves of 112bn barrels, second only to Saudi Arabia, with the prospect of a great deal more in the little-explored western desert, said the minister. The tabular content relating to this article is not available to view. Apologies in advance for the inconvenience caused. But he said immediate production prospects had been hit by smuggling and sabotage of pipelines. Oil exports averaged 645,000 barrels a day in August, less than half pre-war levels, as explosions crippled the main northern pipeline that used to carry about 1m b/d to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Mr Bahr al-Uloum called for the formation of an Iraqi "separate security agency" supported by the Coalition Provisional Authority to defend oil installations. He said the US lacked the manpower to protect pipelines and there had been "too many explosions". On ownership of the industry, Mr Bahr al-Uloum - a US-trained petroleum engineer - advocated the full privatisation of downstream installations, such as refineries, but said he would back production-sharing contracts upstream. In a sign that Russian companies, in particular, may face difficulties enforcing agreements with the Saddam Hussein regime to develop Iraqi oil, Mr Bahr al-Uloum said priority would be given to US oil companies, "and European companies, probably". While insisting that privatisation was "the way to inject inspiration into Iraqi industry", he said that in the transitional two-year period, he would concentrate on rehabilitation of oilfields, rather than developing new ones. "It is better to produce 750,000 b/d for one month than oscillating between 1.5 and 0.2m barrels. If oil production stabilises then I'll increase production slowly, slowly," said the minister. Pre-war production is estimated at around 2.5m b/d. Mr Bahr al-Uloum, who lived in London from 1992 until the US-led invasion of Iraq, joined an Iraqi delegation in talks with the State Department on the postwar future of Iraq in October last year. Fadhil Chalabi, a cousin of Ahmed Chalabi, the current rotating president of the Governing Council, also attended the talks. Mr Bahr al-Uloum, who says he was informed of his impending appointment three weeks ago, said neighbouring Gulf states had offered to help in rehabilitation of the oil sector's infrastructures, damaged by the war and subsequent looting. He said the offer was made during last month's tour of the Gulf states, Egypt and Jordan by Iraq's Interim Council, adding that the Kuwaiti Oil Company - where he worked as an engineer in the 1970s - was among possible partners. Mr Bahr al-Uloum said Iraq had been invited to the next meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries on October 24 in Vienna, and that he planned to attend. Iraq has an Opec quota of 3.2m b/d, which he said he did not expect would be reached until the end of the transitional period. Mr Bahr al-Uloum said that "a Ba'athist with a bad record has to be out" of his ministry, but that he would seek to retain all the efforts of Iraq's technocrats. Fifteen portrait photographs of the 27 relatives he said were killed by the regime of Saddam Hussein looked down from the sitting-room wall as he spoke. He said Thamir Ghadhban, director-general of the oil ministry who had been tipped to take the ministerial portfolio, would be retained as an adviser. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk