Published on Iraq Oil Report, by Ben Lando, 17 July 2009.
The leadership of Iraq’s most prominent oil union says the government should not as quickly turn to foreign firms in developing fields already producing oil, blaming politicians for stalling progress in Iraq’s oil fields.
Signing international oil companies to produce oil in undeveloped fields is nominally OK by the unions – including the second bid round for 11 fields – but not those that Iraqi workers and state oil company is already pumping from.
And there are warnings from the workers that the BP-Chinese National Petroleum Corp. award for the giant Rumaila field could face physical resistance.
“We think that these contracts are illegal and illegitimate,” said Hassan Juma’a Awad, president of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions.
The workers fear they’ll be out of jobs when foreign firms come in. And they see the return of the foreign firms that once ruled Iraq as a petro-province as a potential threat to Iraqis benefiting from the massive fields … (full text).