UK giants get bulk of Iraqi crude
London | Reuters | 10-07-2003
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PLC and Royal Dutch/Shell Group said yesterday they have each
won the right to purchase 2 million barrels of Iraqi crude in
what industry sources said was the first sale of crude pumped
in Iraq since war ended.
BP and Shell plan to load the
oil later this month at Mina Al Bakr. BP said it planned to
ship its oil to the U.S. while Shell refused to say where it
expected to sell its crude.
Iraq's State Oil Marketing
Organisation (SOMO) confirmed that U.S energy group
ChevronTexaco and Swiss trading firm Taurus also won bids for
similar lots of Basra light crude. "We look forward to
developing a long-term relationship with SOMO," a Shell
In Pretoria, U.S. President George W.
Bush ducked queries over a White House admission that he used
flawed intelligence on Iraq's nuclear programme, while
insisting he was right to oust Saddam Hussain.
reporters for the first time since the admission early Tuesday
that he had overstated Iraq's alleged efforts to procure
uranium, Bush said: "There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam
was a threat to the world peace and there is no doubt in my
mind the U.S. with our allies and friends did the right thing
in removing him from power."
"I am absolutely
confident in the decision I made," he said at a press
appearance with South Africa President Thabo Mbeki.
Chicago, a 60-year-old Iraqi-born publisher was arrested at
his home yesterday and charged with providing information to
Saddam's intelligence agency about the deposed leader's foes.
Khaled Abdul Latif Dumeisi, who has been in the U.S.
for about 10 years, was described in an affidavit as an
"unregistered agent" for the former Iraqi government who
reported on Iraqi exile leaders and provided press
identification cards for Iraqi intelligence officers.
In one case, it was alleged Dumeisi was trained by
Iraqi intelligence to use a pen with a hidden camera and
microphone, which he later used to record an interview with an
unnamed member of the Iraqi opposition.
charged with acting as a foreign agent, which carries a
maximum 10-year prison term, and conspiracy, which carries a
potential five-year term.
In Iraq, the Central Command
also announced the seizure of between 400 and 500
rocket-propelled grenades in a vehicle travelling west of
Baghdad, whose four Iraqi passengers were arrested.
Despite the big name catches, there was no pause in
the attacks on U.S. soldiers which seem to have picked up
despite a barrage of U.S. military offensives this past month
in central Iraq, the hub of support for Saddam.
fired rocket-propelled grenades overnight at U.S. positions in
the hotspot town of Fallujah, west of the capital.
U.S. forces also announced the arrest of two top
Baathists. Mizban Khadr Al Hadi, former Baath leader, turned
himself in on Tuesday.
Ex-interior minister Mahmud
Dhiyab Al Ahmad was also captured. Also yesterday, U.S.
officials said recruiting for a new army force will begin July
19 in Baghdad, Mosul and Basra.