Monday, August 18, 2003

Iraq/US: US abandons plans for oil "advisory board"

The US has decided not to appoint an "an international advisory board" of oil industry types who were supposed to oversee and advise on the direction of the Iraqi oil industry.
While U.S. and allied officials remain in charge of reconstruction, the decision to scale back foreign supervision signals their increasing confidence in the competence of Iraqi oil professionals and heightened concern about Iraqi political sensitivities, officials said. Instead of answering to a global board of directors, oil technocrats will report to a minister named by the new Iraqi Governing Council.

... The decision was prompted in part by the reluctance of foreign oil company experts and prominent Iraqi expatriates to join the board, officials said.

Retired Shell Oil Chief Executive Philip Carroll will continue to serve as the U.S.-led administration's senior advisor to the Iraqi Oil Ministry, officials said, but the corporate-style advisory board he was supposed to chair will not be established.