- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2003

From combined dispatches
HOUSTON A unit of Houston-based oil-field-services giant Halliburton Co. will organize the oil-well-firefighting and -rehabilitation effort in Iraq just as it did after the 1991 Persian Gulf war, officials said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday gave Kellogg Brown & Root the go-ahead to implement the Defense Department's plan to extinguish oil-well fires in Iraq and repair the damage. Halliburton subcontractors Boots & Coots International Well Control Inc. and Wild Well Control Inc., both also from Houston, will handle the firefighting chores.
Unease around the oil fields in the far southeastern corner of Iraq has delayed the beginning of work the past two days, officials said.
Halliburton oversaw the firefighting efforts on 320 wells in Kuwait after retreating Iraqi troops set fires in 1991. Firefighting companies extinguished 90 percent of the fires within a year, ahead of the 18-month schedule.
Halliburton was led by Richard B. Cheney before he resigned in 2000 to join the Republican presidential ticket.
Seven oil wells were burning yesterday at Rumeila in southern Iraq, the country's largest oil field, according to the British military and Kuwaiti Deputy Oil Minister Issa al-Aoun. Oil pipes have been set on fire near Nasiriyah, also in southern Iraq, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported. The report didn't give details about how many pipes were ablaze.
Iraq, which holds the world's second-largest oil reserves, produced about 2.5 million barrels a day in the past month, half of which came from the country's southern oil fields. Last year, the United States was Iraq's largest single customer for crude oil sales.
U.S. officials have said that retreating Iraqi troops and guerrillas might try to sabotage oil installations.
Separately, Seattle-based Stevedoring Services of America won a $4.8 million contract to repair and manage the Iraqi port at Umm Qasr after the end of the war, the U.S. Agency for International Development said.
The 18-month contract is the second of eight awarded by the agency for reconstruction projects in Iraq that analysts say may grow to rival the Marshall Plan after World War II.

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