2009 December 28 Monday
US Oil Companies Win No Contracts In Iraq Oil Fields

You might think that at least American capitalist oil companies will make massive fortunes off of the trillions of dollars the United States wasted invading and occupying Iraq. But no. US oil companies got no long term oil contracts in the latest round of bidding for oil service contracts in Iraq.

Those who claim that the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 to get control of the country's giant oil reserves will be left scratching their heads by the results of last weekend's auction of Iraqi oil contracts: Not a single U.S. company secured a deal in the auction of contracts that will shape the Iraqi oil industry for the next couple of decades. Two of the most lucrative of the multi-billion-dollar oil contracts went to two countries which bitterly opposed the U.S. invasion Russia and China while even Total Oil of France, which led the charge to deny international approval for the war at the U.N. Security Council in 2003, won a bigger stake than the Americans in the most recent auction.

The winners didn't even win much. The companies that did win contracts will get pretty measly fees per barrel of oil they manage to produce.

Russia's Lukoil, CNPC, and RoyalDutchShell accepted fees of between $1.15 and $1.40 for every barrel they produce that's about 2% of Friday's oil futures price of $73 a barrel.

We were foolish to invade Iraq. Once we invaded we were even more foolish to stay for a long time. US national interests were not advanced by this invasion.

Imagine we had instead spent money to subsidize hybrid vehicle purchase for all new American car buyers for the last 5 years. Even at a $10,000 price premium per car the cost would have been less than a trillion dollars - much less than our total cost for the Iraq war and we would have reduced our oil imports by millions of barrels per day for years to come.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 December 28 07:19 PM  Mideast Iraq Costs


Comments
Black Death said at December 29, 2009 5:50 AM:

Or imagine if we spent the money building nuclear plants. Or investing in alternative fuels research. Or improved battery technology. Or (gasp!) even giving it back to the hard-working taxpayers to whom it originally belonged. The stupidity of the last Administration is matched only by the stupidity of the current one.

miles said at December 29, 2009 9:16 AM:

"Imagine we had instead spent money to subsidize hybrid vehicle purchase for all new American car buyers for the last 5 years. Even at a $10,000 price premium per car the cost would have been less than a trillion dollars - much less than our total cost for the Iraq war and we would have reduced our oil imports by millions of barrels per day for years to come"


Amen.

no i don't said at December 29, 2009 1:12 PM:

It's about time for electric and solar powered cars, which are now used in some other countries.

There's a limit to how much oil humans can suck out of mother earth.

Kudzu Bob said at December 30, 2009 5:33 AM:

For that matter, if we had simply used the trillion dollars as fuel for a colossal marshmallow roast, that would still have been a better use of it. At least we wouldn't have made so many new enemies, and nobody would have died.

John trevor said at December 30, 2009 7:00 AM:

so the writer means if US companies got contracts it would have been worth invading Iraq..
does that mean you aprove of stealing other countries natural resources?
thats odd..
US companies did not get anything coz Iraqi officials made sure they didnt..nobody likes to see his country occupied..
not sure what part of that statement you dont get

Randall Parker said at December 30, 2009 9:00 AM:

John trevor, Like straw men much?

I'm pointing out the total utter waste of invading Iraq. No way contracts would have made the invasion worthwhile. Iraq isn't worth trillions of dollars to us. We didn't become more secure. We just wasted lots of money.

My real point is that the conspiracy theorists who thought we invaded for the benefit of our oil industry aren't credible.

John Trevor said at December 30, 2009 9:04 AM:

we did invade Iraq for Oil (at least in Bush's mind)..just because it didnt work in the end like we planned that does not mean it was not the plan to begin with..

Bob Badour said at December 30, 2009 9:37 AM:

John,

When did you first realize you had this power to read Presidential minds? Have you always had it? Or is it something that developed in your late teens or twenties?

Randall Parker said at December 30, 2009 12:40 PM:

John Trevor,

We have historical evidence for why Bush wanted to invade Iraq. Dubya thought he could boost his popularity and show daddy how to govern:

"I'll tell you, he was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999," Herskowitz told Baker. "One of the things he said to me, is `One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he said, `My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of (Kuwait) and he wasted it.

"He said, `If I have a chance to invade Iraq, if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency.' "

Daddy was much smarter. Dubya was a fool.


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