Last updated on: 6/4/2008 9:26:00 AM PST
Which countries obtained oil from Iraq before March 19, 2003?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The Energy Information Administration stated in the briefing paper "Iraq Country Analysis" on its website (accessed Feb. 25, 2003):

"An estimated 30%-40% of Iraqi oil is sold initially to Russian firms (i.e., Emerkrom, Kalymneftegas, Machinoimport, Rosnefteimpex, Sidanco, Slavneft, Soyuzneftgaz, Tatneft, and Zarubzhneft). The remaining 60%-70% of Iraq's oil is first purchased by companies from many countries, including Cyprus, Sudan, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Egypt, Italy, Ukraine, and others.

Iraqi oil is normally then resold to a variety of oil comapnies and middlemen before being purchased by end users. During 2001, for instance, nearly 80% of Basra Light liftings, and over 30% of Kirkuk oil, went to the United States, with large importers including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Citgo, BP, Marathon, Coastal, Valero, Koch, and Premcor. During the first eleven months of 2002, the United States imported an average of 449,000 bbl/d in November), while 430,000 bbl/d went to Europe and 140,000 bbl/d to Asia. To some extent, increased Iraqi oil exports to the Americans have helped fill the loss created by a major oil strike and general unrest in Venezuela beginning in December 2002.

In December 2001, the Turkish Petroleum International Corporation won a U.N.-approved contract to drill for oil in northern Iraq, specifically at the Khurmala field near Kirkuk. Two Russian companies -- Tatneft and Zarubezhneft -- have won U.N.-approved upstream contracts at the Bai Hassan, Kirkuk, and Saddam fields. According to Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, Tatneft has U.N.-approved contracts to drill 33 new wells in Iraq. In early December 1999, Russian energy company Zarubezhneft said that it was drilling multiple wells at Kirkuk, and that this did not violate U.N. sanctions (Russian officials have denied that any work was being done). Zarubezhneft hopes to boost Kirkuk production capacity from its current 900,000 bbl/d to around 1.1 million bbl/d."


Feb. 25, 2003 - Energy Information Administration (EIA) 

Claudia Wright, a journalist, stated the following in an Atlantic Monthly Apr. 1979 article titled "Iraq":

"What the government has done is unique in the Middle East, for wherever possible it has negotiated the sale of oil for the import of goods and technology on a fixed-price, government-agreement basis. Italy, France, and Japan are currently the major oil purchasers. With each Iraq has signed an oil-for-import barter agreement. Japan, for example, will buy 9 million tons of oil a year and provide an annual import purchase credit worth about $1 billion in return. Italy and France have negotiated similar agreements. For each country, Iraq has used its credit somewhat differently - the Japanese have been building power stations, refineries, and petrochemical plants; the Italians, a fruit and livestock farm complex; and the French, an iron and steel plant, a nuclear power reactor, and Mirage fighter jets."

Apr. 1979 Claudia Wright