- The Washington Times - Friday, August 22, 2008

BAGHDAD(AP) | Iraq and China will sign a deal next week to develop the Ahdab oil field, restoring an agreement that was canceled after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, an Iraqi spokesman said Thursday.

The governor of Wasit province, where the billion-barrel field is located, left Wednesday for China to join Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani at the ceremony in the next few days, provincial spokesman Majid al-Atabi said.

“The governor will discuss the logistic cooperation with the Chinese company, especially the security side,” Mr. al-Atabi said in a phone interview.

The Shi’ite-dominated Wasit province, about 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, has been the scene of sporadic attacks since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Saddam Hussein’s regime defied United Nations sanctions that limited direct dealings with Iraq’s oil industry and signed a deal in 1997 with the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp.

That contract, worth $1.2 billion, gave a subsidiary of the Chinese company concessions to develop the field on a production-sharing basis for 22 years.

The agreement will be a service contract, under which China will not be a partner in profits and instead will be paid for work.

Once the contract is signed, it will be the first Saddam-era oil deal to be honored by the new Iraqi government. A number of companies say they signed deals with Saddam’s regime and demand that those be honored, or the countries involved be given priority on new agreements.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide