Shell Puts Damper on Iraq Talk
Oil giant Shell has sought to draw a line under speculation linking the supermajor with Iraq by saying it is 'far too premature' to talk about seeking production contracts now the conflict is over.
The comments underscore the difficulty that the US authorities face in the war-scarred country as they struggle to kick-start the economy, including fresh work on its massive crude reserves.
'We want to do business with a real Iraqi government,' said Walter van der Vijver, Shell's global chief executive for exploration and production, in Brazil for a crude project launch.
'We do not think it is appropriate to start doing anything now, before a new government takes over. It is far too premature to talk about any exploration and production possibilities in Iraq,' he added.
At present Iraq is run by a US-appointed Governing Council. The body can approve policies and has budgetary powers - but Washington retains a veto over its decisions.
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