Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The head of an Iraqi oil agency said yesterday that his group had been trucking in gasoline and other fuel to Iraq for considerably less money than Halliburton, which has so far received more than $700 million from the Army Corps of Engineers to stave off shortages there.

... Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization is now importing fuel, too, and from the same countries nearby as Halliburton. An Oct. 16 fax from the agency to the House Committee on Government Reform, where Mr. [Henry] Waxman is the ranking Democrat, indicates that the Iraqis are bringing in gasoline at a much lower price than is Halliburton.

Halliburton said in response to the Congressional letter last week that it charges $1.59 a gallon for its gasoline imports, which includes the 2 percent profit margin. In the fax, the Iraqi marketing organization's general manager, Mohammed al-Jibouri, said that gasoline from Turkey costs $347 a metric ton delivered to Baghdad, which he said translates to about 98 cents a gallon. an e-mail message to staff members of the House committee, the Washington office of the Coalition Provisional Authority suggested that Halliburton and the Iraqi marketing agency do not seem to have different security and distribution costs.

... Mr. Jibouri, the Iraqi marketing group's chief, said by telephone from Baghdad that the 98 cents a gallon it pays for the priciest gasoline it imports "includes everything."

"The contractor we sign with is obliged to buy the gasoline and deliver it into our depots," he said. "There are no extra costs."...

--New York Times

No comments: