The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Friday, June 13


CNN Money reports Iraq's state oil marketing company SOMO has awarded the first of 6 contracts to refiners out of 52 bids tendered. Approval is still needed by acting ministry chief Thamir Ghadhban and from US advisor Philip Carroll (formerly of Shell)
Iraq's state oil marketing company SOMO awarded its first post-war crude contract Thursday to six companies for 10 million barrels of oil held in storage.

The companies are Repsol and Cepsa of Spain, Tupras of Turkey, ENI of Italy, Total of France. ChevronTexaco was the only U.S. company.
Condoleezza Rice must be happy to see her former company make the cut. It's a shame the Condoleezza Rice tanker won't be pulling into port in Umm Qasr. Apparently Chevron/Texaco has changed it's name.

Iraq is going to go cellular.
The authority reversed its previous policy that a cellular system would wait until an Iraqi government took office. The spokesman said the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).
had decided to move after "discussions with Iraqi advisers and businessmen" revealed a national mobile phone system was urgently needed
According to the Financial Times, Motorola is said to be a serious contender along with Ericcson and Orascom Telecom of Egypt in bidding on a new cellular network in Iraq. No indications if WorldCom will be in on the bidding. Alcatel of France built much of Iraq's communications network and after Gulf War I received a $75 mllion dollar contract for repairs. Expect this contract to go much higher.

Bloomberg News report in the Toronto Star that a "squabble over wheat" Australia was expecting to export $526 million in wheat to Iraq this year. Shut out by Saddam Hussein afer Gulf War I, the trade group U.S. Wheat Associates wants in on the competitive bidding again. At stake is $2.5 billion dollars in contracts.

There is a lot of money flying around these days. But. Where is it going, who is it going to, who is cashing the checks? A little transparency on the various financial transactions would be nice. When Rep. Henry Waxman finishes with analyzing the Halliburton contracts, here's hoping he'll ask for a complete accounting of financial transactions. Here's also hoping most of the money is making its way into the pockets of the Iraqi people (as opposed to the pockets of Chalabi).


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