Western oil majors decide Iraq is still too dangerous
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Tuesday, March 9, 2004
ABU DHABI Ñ Western energy majors have assessed that Iraq is too
dangerous for investment.
Oil executives said that despite the agreement by the Iraqi Governing
Council for an interim constitution, the country remains unstable and major
investments cannot be justified. They said most Western majors would wait at
least another year to determine whether to bid on contracts for the
exploration and development of oil and natural gas reserves.
The assessments were issued during the Sixth Middle East Geosciences
Conference and Exhibition, or GEO-2004, in Manama on Tuesday. The three-day
conference brought leading oil executives for a discussion on industry
trends and the Gulf oil market. Oil executives said Iraq would require at
least three more years before it reaches a production level of 3.5 million
barrels of oil per day, Middle East Newsline reported.
"We have to be patient," Robert Dastmalchi, Middle East and North Africa
general manager for ChevronTexaco, told the Manama-based Gulf
Daily News. "There needs to be an Iraqi authority, a constitution and
clarity over what types of contract we will be offered. Until that is in
place, we will not sign contracts. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than