by Jonathan Steele
Friday June 20, 2008
Iraq is preparing to allow four of the biggest western oil companies to renew exploitation of the country’s vast reserves for the first time in almost four decades.
Iraq’s oil ministry stepped up talks with BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Total after the US vice-president, Dick Cheney, visited Iraq in March, where he also pressed the government to revive efforts to pass the hydrocarbon law that nationalist MPs were blocking. The first contracts are expected to be signed this month. Some 90% of Iraq’s budget comes from oil revenues.
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