U.S. Firms Lose Out in Bidding for Iraq Oil Fields

Iraq Oil FieldPatrick Martin writes on World Socialist Web Site:

In a clear signal of the declining influence of American capitalism, even in a country conquered and occupied by the US military, companies from China, Russia, Malaysia and Angola, along with several European oil giants, won most of the rights for exploration and development of Iraq’s oil fields.

The concessions were awarded Friday and Saturday by the Iraqi oil ministry, after a competitive auction in which joint ventures of European and Asian companies won the lion’s share. Of the ten concessions awarded so far, including in an earlier auction, US-based companies will play the lead role in only one, while getting a lesser share in a second.

The most aggressive bidder was the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), while Lukoil and Gazprom of Russia, and European firms like Royal Dutch Shell, ENI (Italy), British Petroleum, Statoil (Norway) and Total (France) all won bids. Petronas, the state-owned Malaysian oil company, won the most bids, three, while the Angolan state oil company Sonangol won two.

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