This foggy image of Satarem is a reminder that brought back the bad experience of similar cases. An announcement was made during the “Symposium for Reviewing Iraq Oil Policy”, held in Baghdad February 27-March 1, 2009, that the Ministry of Oil through Iraq Drilling Co (IDC) had concluded an important agreement with a UK based drilling company. After hearing that announcement I asked some of my colleagues if they knew the profile of that company but I left Baghdad with no answer. A few weeks later the Ministry of Oil and IDC abandoned the deal with that UK-based company. A colleague and close friend paid a visit to the location of that company and found no trace of a credible drilling company at the provided address in London!
Karbala refinery is another example. Eric Watkins wrote (1 August 2011) in the famous Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ) that Iraq’s ministry of oil has signed an agreement with Karbala Refinery Corp. Ltd (KRC) for the construction of a 200 kbd refinery at an estimated cost of $6.5 billion, citing KRC Chief Executive Officer Dean Michael. Moreover, analyst Catherine Hunter of IHS Global Insight said the project will be aimed at meeting Iraq’s domestic demand for gasoline and diesel.
Two weeks later the oil ministry said what was signed was “an initial form of a document with the Italian investment group to build the refinery of Karbala. And Mr Ahmed Al-Shamaa the then deputy minister for refining affairs said that the ministry signed this agreement to enable these Italian companies to finish the procedures of applying the project. And he denied the signing of the contract as the mass media reported.
The third example is the famous two contracts by the Ministry of Electricity comprising a $1.2 billion contract with the Vancouver-based Canadian Alliance for Power Generation Equipment (CAPGENT) and a $500 million deal with Germany's Maschinenbau Habentstads Mbh. The two contracts were revoked when the two companies were proven to be unqualified for such contracts.