Sunday, February 22, 2004

Oil corruption ?!?!?

On the subject of oil barrels offered by the Saddam regime . I’m ready to believe anything about Saddam as it would not be past him. However, the list presented seemed to me to serve the Americans too much .. especially the sole Libyan national on this list . I mean Libya I think does not need to be bribed by 1 million barrels of oil we have so much oil it’s sickening. Plus the guy named has no way to hide these barrels and he can’t well sell them on the market on his own now can he. This is not contraband material ! I'm not defending anyone but it just seemed to good to be true.
I came across another article and I wanted to share it , for those interested this linkshould work ( I hope ) :

Offering Oil Barrels Secretly?!
Abdulmajid Attar Al-Hayat 2004/02/5
On January 25, Al-Mada Iraqi daily published the names of 262 international individuals and institutions that received millions of oil barrels in return for supporting the former regime. My name was mentioned on the list, and even if it were not, I would not refuse to explain this ambiguous issue to the public.
First, I would like the readers to read one of the articles published on entitled "L'Intox Des Barils Irakiens." Second, I discovered that over four billion barrels were offered, which is five-folds the annual Iraqi oil production and ten-fold the annual Algerian oil production.
One might ask the following questions: was it possible that such large quantities of oil to be offered and the UN or U.S. did not notice? Then, how was the oil-for-food program implemented?
Was Saddam Hussein able to generously offer around $50 billion while the barrel's price was only $12 dollars?
It is obvious that Saddam did not, for he could not, under the vigilant supervision of the UN inspectors, especially that the clients paid the UN and not Saddam.
Personally, I oppose every Iraqi side that is trying to assert that Saddam offered oil coupons. As for the list, every individual or company mentioned has its own credibility, and hence, I should state the following information:
From 1996 to 2000, I was the main negotiator with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil as a director of international projects and later the chairman and CEO of the Algerian Sonatrach company. I was conducting negotiations of important contracts related to developing the Tuba oilfield.
The negotiations were held with the biggest international oil companies and it was a very important project for Sonatrach.
In addition, some American companies were encouraging us to negotiate by presenting offers to participate in the project after lifting the sanctions.
All during these years of negotiations, and within the oil-for-food program, Sonatrach participated in marketing a part of the Iraqi oil. Hence, we were allocated an oil share like the other oil companies, including the American ones through Sonatrach's branch in London, under the supervision of the UN, and not directly with Iraqis.
This might be the reason why we were called to organize humanitarian activities in the favor of the Iraqi people and we sent food, medical equipment and medicines. In addition, we supervised the training of around 60 Iraqi oil engineers in Algeria, opened an office in Baghdad and contributed to the organization of trips for the companies' chairmen in order to follow the implementation of the oil-for-food program.
What happened after 2000?
Personally, I was not at Sonatrach at the time, for I was the chairman of a group of production companies. We kept on carrying out economic activities in Iraq by sending humanitarian aids and organizing trips.
Thus, we were able, until 2000, to preserve Algerian presence in the Iraqi market, mostly thanks to the state of Algeria.
In 2000, it became difficult to sign contracts and even Sonatrach withdrew from the Iraqi market and froze its negotiations.
However, Algeria held official contacts with the Iraqi side in order to preserve the tight relations between both countries. It suggested solutions and I personally introduced other companies to the Iraqi market after the withdrawal of Sonatrach. However, neither these companies nor myself received presents from Saddam. All transactions were handled by the UN. It should be mentioned that a large share of the revenues was allocated to humanitarian aid in Iraq.
Hence, one cannot regret humanitarian aids he contributed to, because they were meant to serve the Iraqi people and not Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi president gave us no gifts but some ministers used to consider us a priority in the market.
* Mr. Attar is the former Chairman of the Algerian oil company.

No comments: