Monday, July 17, 2023

"Why TotalEnergies’ $27 Billion Deal With Iraq Is A Gamechanger"

I don't care who you are (well, maybe excluding the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch) that is getting to be serious money. 

From OilPrice, July 17:

  • The four-pronged megadeal between TotalEnergies and Iraq has received the greenlight after many delays.
  • The US$27 billion megadeal is set to move into action within four weeks and, if it does, then it will be a game-changer for Iraq.
  • Most important of the four projects is the completion of the Common Seawater Supply Project.

The long-delayed US$27 billion four-pronged megadeal between France’s TotalEnergies and the Federal Government of Iraq has received the final go-ahead from both sides and is due to start within the next four weeks. The huge deal is crucial in enabling Iraq to increase its oil production from around 4.5 million barrels per day (bpd) to perhaps 13 million bpd within five years. It is also critical to Iraq’s ability to end its dependence on Iran for gas imports and electricity for its power grid. For the West, the deal is crucial is securing access to Iraq’s huge, underdeveloped oil and gas reserves as part of its strategy to find new sources of each to compensate for lost supplies from Russia. It is also vital in reasserting a stake in the central Middle East to counteract the increasing influence of China and Russia there, as analysed in my new book on the new global oil market order. In short, this four-pronged deal with TotalEnergies is a very big thing indeed, which is why all parties involved have pulled out all the stops to either get it across the line or stop it in its tracks, depending on which side they are on.

Iraq’s input into proceedings, which caused the main delays from the original signing of the megadeal in 2021 to now, was not part of a brilliantly interwoven geopolitical strategy aimed at world domination (that was China, with a little help from Russia – more of that in a moment). Instead, it was down to its standard attempts to gouge out as much as possible in the way of commissions – delivered in the form of ‘cash compensation payments’ made to various front companies - for some senior government people....


Regarding that last bit, my instanalysis the most recent time we saw the 13mm bpd figure was "[and pro forma, I'm Miss America*]", but who knows, maybe they can tamp down the corruption and make a go of it. 

One real problem though, wherever the U.S. has spent big money doing the war thing the corruption becomes endemic and the grifters keep hoping, like the Melanesian (N.E. of Australia) cargo cultists after WWII in the Pacific, for a return of the goodies from the sky. It takes a while for that hope of a return to burn out.

Possibly of interest, "Feynman's Cal Tech Commencement Address 'Cargo Cult Science'"