Dispute between Baghdad and Basra over gas deal with Shell
On: Sun 12/11/2011 8:52

Abdul Khaliq Ali
is supposed to be the province of Basra area enviable because they contain the largest oil fields that produce large quantities of natural gas in Iraq and for being the country's main port. But, these are maintained for decades of neglect by the government in Baghdad. The central government recently completed a deal with Shell and Mitsubishi, which had been trying for three years for the exploitation of natural gas there. Conservative politicians objected to that and went to the courts because of their participation in the negotiations. That was the last examples of the outbreak of the differences between the center and the province.
At the end of November 2011, the Ministry of Oil signed natural gas deal with Shell and Mitsubishi, and in November 27 ended the three parties to a contract worth $ 17 billion for 25 years to collect natural gas from oil fields in Basra. Will establish a new company - Basrah Gas Company - the government owns 51% and Shell owns 44% and 5% Mitsubishi. Entered the Shell and the Oil Ministry in the negotiations in September 2008 but stalled due to political issues and legal and contractual until last month. Gas produced is supposed to go to the local electric power plants first, then the surplus is exported. Iraq has 126.7 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, and produces 1.6 billion cubic feet per day and the fact that the gas industry is underdeveloped in the country, half of that amount is burned during the process of extracting the oil, which cost Iraq about $ 5 million a day. Only Russia, Iran and Nigeria, the amount of burning more than Iraq. This deal overturn the accepted these negative trends, which will develop the outcome of this resource. Iraq also hopes to become a big player in the international gas market. First, he needed to care Bmassanah of electric power that runs a lot of them using the oil that cause damage to machines and devices. Soon Basra politicians objected to the deal before signing. On November 24 last, said Jabar Amin, head of the provincial council that he will sue the oil ministry for not involving them in the negotiations, and added that the Council wants the major companies operating in the province to build service projects to benefit the province. On January 5 reported that local officials claim to cancel the transaction.
in spite of all this natural wealth, the Basra do not get anything, it has complained to maintain recently from the fact that the 2010 budget has allocated one dollar for every barrel of oil produced in the province, so the central government of the city to Basra, hundreds of millions of dollars but it did not receive anything because of the lack of instructions on how to distribute the funds. This is the tip of the iceberg of complaints against the conservative central government. Think of Basra as long as they contribute to the wealth of the country more than any other region, it is necessary to compensate for that, but that Baghdad retains all the money for themselves, and this is a common complaint of many of Iraq's provinces.
objects to Basra, a deal Shell - Mitsubishi because it believes it another deal will not the benefit of maintaining only a little. And despite being an oil-rich province, but the industry does not provide only 1% of jobs. The revenue provided by each of the Basra oil go to Baghdad, except for a small percentage are returned in the form of the budget of the province. Basra officials fear a repeat with the new gas deal. All of these and other issues led to a demand by maintaining more power and independence. These same complaints come from other provinces because they feel neglected by the Centre. The problem is that Baghdad is holding her hand most of the documents, and not only that, but rather the maintenance of more powers and authorities now. Basra can push for prosecution, but did not push the threat of failing to provide security for foreign companies, for example, they will get nothing in this conflict.