Lot's of excited chatter on the intertubes about US-based Big Oil finally getting a slice of the Iraqi pie. The buzz comes from a NYT story quoting oil company execs and a US diplomat. It says a no-bid deal giving very limited contracts to Shell, BP and ExxonMobil is due to be signed on June 30. Paymnets will not be in cash, but in oil. Whoo hoo. Mission accomplished and all that.
Believe it when you see it. Even if the deal does get signed, unlike all the other much-hyped coming deals which have hit "last-minute stumbles", it will make little difference on the ground in Iraq. It's all about getting a foot in the door, of course, but even then you have to make sure you don't get your toes cut off.