Asia Seen Digging Into Middle East
Lionel Laurent, 08.19.08, 12:50 PM ET
LONDON - The Asian energy invasion of the Middle East looked set to deepen on Tuesday, with China's state-owned oil company reportedly close to an oil-service deal in Iraq--the first of its kind since the American invasion--while construction firms from Japan and Korea also hoped to get a slice of two big export refinery projects in Saudi Arabia.
China in particular has proven particularly eager to strike deals in the Middle East, at a time when it is looking to feed its booming domestic appetite for energy. Iraq could be its next destination, according to published reports, which said Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani as saying that he would fly to China at the end of August to discuss a $1.2 billion oil-service deal with China National Petroleum Co.
The deal would replace a production-sharing agreement signed under the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and would be the first oil-service arrangement since the 2003 invasion. Shahristani was cited as saying that discussions with China have been taking place for a year.
Oh my God!!! BushCo sent our troops into Iraq mainly to get at the oil *cheap* for the US oil companies. Now China is getting some of it instead. And if they outbid all others on ALL the Iraqi oil contracts??? Oh, that'll be rich.