Ministry of Oil Concludes Shaky Refinery Deal with Satarem

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The Ministry of Oil Concludes Shaky Deal for Missan Refinery with Satarem

The Ministry of Oil has decided to go ahead with the Missan Refinery deal with the legally bankrupt small Swiss company Satarem, and a Chinese Company (Wahan), as stated briefly on the Ministry’s website today 22 February 2016.

I have been following this scandalous case since mid-2013 and written about it since then. [i]

Many international companies who had legal cases against Satarem and its owner, Jerome Friler, provided me with evidence and court verdicts in their favor against Mr. Friler and I have mentioned all these in my previous articles and communications about the matter; the Ministry of Oil is well informed about all these issues.

Between 29 October 2015 and 4 January 2016 I circulated many communications (emails) within my professional network inside and outside Iraq on the issue, which generated much feedback from Iraqi oil professionals including those connected to the political establishment.[ii]

Despite all that I and other Iraqi oil professionals wrote since mid-2013, the Ministry of Oil did not provide any official statement explaining fully and accurately the economic rational, based on a feasibility study.

What was provided by its contract consultant represents his views and they are hardly convincing at all; and that prompted me to provide, through email exchanges, further insights questioning the weak premises of the deal especially those related to due diligence, selection and qualification criteria, feasibility study and the apparent unsuitability of Satarem for this complex and expensive refinery.

Then in a related article I conclude: “The experience with the scandalous Satarem/Missan Refinery deal (with a legally bankrupt and technically incompetent small company) was ill-advised as well on the premise of privatization and attracting foreign investors.[iii]

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