A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE : BP WANTED ITS SHARE OF IRAQI OIL IN OCTOBER 2002
Tony Blair; Moving motion for war with Iraq, 18 March 2003
Remember that? I do.
I also remember reading the article below in The Guardian in October 2002, before the invasion of Iraq, and before Blair stood up in Parliament and told his fellow MPs that Saddam could stay in power if only he would give up his WMDs (which we sold him), and before Blair said the above.
In the article Lord Browne of BP (still there I see so he's doing a good job for Royal Oil) made it clear that BP wanted its share of Iraqi oil. No mention of WMDs, just get the oil.
The last sentence also gives away some of the motive for the threats of war. It is reported that oil surged to the dizzy heights of $27 per barrel!!
Oh, and look at the links between Whitehall and BP (Blair Petroleum). What are the odds Blair gets a seat on the board?
BP chief fears US will carve up Iraqi oil riches
Wednesday October 30, 2002
Lord Browne, chief executive of BP and one of New Labour's favourite industrialists, has warned Washington not to carve up Iraq for its own oil companies in the aftermath of any future war.
The comments from the most senior European oil executive, who has impeccable political connections in the UK, will be seen by anti-war protesters as further proof that US president George Bush has already made his mind up about an early attack.
They will also serve to underline concern that the US is primarily concerned with seizing control of Saddam Hussein's oil and handing it over to companies such as ExxonMobil rather than destroying his weapons of mass destruction.
Britain's biggest company is reviewing what impact a regime change in Baghdad would have on its own business and global crude supplies.
Both London and Washington have been lobbied by the UK oil giant, which is concerned that European companies could be left out in the cold.
"We have let it be known that the thing we would like to make sure, if Iraq changes regime, is that there should be a level playing field for the selection of oil companies to go in there if they're needed to do the work there," said Lord Browne yesterday at a briefing on the company's results.
Lord Browne said that most exploration for new supplies had halted there when the Iraqis nationalised their industry. But he believed there was a plenty of oil and gas waiting to be discovered in Iraq and that BP should be in prime position to capitalise because it had found most of the country's oil before being thrown out in the 1970s.
BP said it had had no contact with Baghdad since 1989. Iraq's reserves amount to 115bn barrels of oil, making it the biggest source of oil in the world behind Saudi Arabia.
Lord Browne's views will be listened to carefully in Downing Street because the BP executive team has such close links with the UK government that it was once dubbed Blair Petroleum. A number of former BP executives, such as Lord Simon, have been seconded into Whitehall while one of Mr Blair's personal assistants, Anji Hunter, joined Lord Browne's team.
Impending war with Iraq has given a financial boost to BP and other western oil firms by driving up the price of oil to $27 per barrel.