Saturday, October 20, 2012

Exxon snubs Maliki over West Qurna 1

Looks like the Kurdish region promises a sweeter deal for Exxon. This will definitely put a brake on Maliki's ambitious plans to rival Saudi Arabia in oil exports, maybe even if Russian and Chinese oil companies rush in to fill the void, which seems to be what he prefers (more loot for him and the other bandits in power that way):

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil wants to leave its giant oilfield project in southern Iraq, diplomatic sources said, in a move likely to aggravate the country's internal tensions and hamper Baghdad's ambitious energy expansion plans.

The desire of the world's largest publicly traded oil company to quit was due to prospects of slim profits from the estimated $50 billion West Qurna-1 project, the sources said. An exit from the project would contrast with a deal Exxon signed a year ago to explore in Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish region, where incentives are better.

Baghdad deemed the Kurdish deal illegal and promised to punish Exxon by ripping up its contract for West Qurna-1, which has reserves of 8.7 billion barrels.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The other face of Baghdad

Yes, it still exists.

These are snapshots of just one neighborhood of Baghdad, called al-Utaifiya, which is right across the river from where I used to live.