Well, at least we’ll get some cheap oil out of it? Probably not says TPM, Maliki is preparing to sign an oil servicing deal with China. Meanwhile, negotiations for similar service contracts with ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, BP, Chevron, and others have stalled due to a changing terms on behalf of the Iraqis, or as the NYT explains it:
The duration of those contracts, which drew international criticism for being awarded without competitive bidding, has been shortened to one year from two, causing some of the interested companies to reconsider.
Whether it was in fact a manifestation of Maliki’s growing balls or the government just waking up, I really doubt, as the NYT seems to allude, that the changing terms were unrelated to “international criticism.” All this just illustrates that oil is a global commodity; if Iraq doesn’t sell to the highest bidder, they look like a puppet regime and the U.S. is cast as an imperialist, which increasingly Iraq rejects and neoconservatives have to pretend was never their intention. Mercantalism is long dead.