[R-G] Israeli firm awarded oil tender in Iraq
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Wed Feb 25 08:11:53 MST 2004
Wednesday 25th February 2004
Israeli firm awarded oil tender in Iraq
One of Israel's largest oil marketing firms has won a multi-million dollar
tender to supply fuel to US troops in Iraq.
According to a IsraelNationalNews.com report, the tender awarded to Sonol
gasoline company, along with its foreign partner Morgantown International,
is valued at $70-80 million.
The company is expected to supply the US forces with 25 million litres of
fuel each month.
The tender was issued by the US-based KDR Company, a subsidiary of
Halliburton, which has been entrusted with the majority of US military
contracts in Iraq. Among Sonols competitors was Delek, another Israeli
company, the report added.
Until now, the US forces have received most of their fuel from Kuwait.
However, following Halliburtons admission that it overcharged the US
military by passing on the Kuwaitis' inflated price, the US Army decided to
approach other suppliers.
Sonol is one of Israel's three largest oil product marketing firms with a
network of about 205 branded service stations.
Fuel, imported to Israel, will pass through the fuel terminal operated by
the TASHAN (Oil and Energy Infrastructure Company) north of Beer Sheva and
will then be transported to Iraq by land through Jordan, according to the
Not much oil
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a statistical
agency of the US Department of Energy, Israel produces almost no oil and
imports nearly all its oil needs (around 237,000 barrels a day in 2002).
Traditionally, major oil import sources have included Egypt, the North Sea,
West Africa and Mexico.
In recent years, however, Israel has stepped up its imports from Russia and
the Caspian region and now reportedly gets most of its oil from former
Information provided by the EIA states that in April 2003, there was some
discussion of "reopening" the old oil pipeline from Mosul in Northern Iraq
to the Israeli port of Haifa on its northern Mediterranean coast.
The line, which was built in the 1930s, carried 100,000 barrels a day at its
peak, but has been closed since Israel's establishment in 1948.
The reopening of this pipeline is, on the other hand, reported as being able
to "solve Israel's energy crisis at a stroke".
According to a report in The Observer in April 2003, plans to build a
pipeline from newly conquered Iraq were being discussed between Washington,
Tel Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad.
US intelligence sources confirmed to The Observer that the project had been
discussed. One former senior CIA official said: ''It has long been a dream
of a powerful section of the people now driving this administration [of
President George Bush] and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel's energy
supply as well as that of the United States.
James Akins, a former US ambassador to the region, quoted by The Observer
said: "There would be a fee for transit rights through Jordan, just as there
would be fees for Israel from those using what would be the Haifa terminal",
according to the paper.
''After all, this is a new world order now. This is what things look like
particularly if we wipe out Syria. It just goes to show that it is all about
oil, for the United States and its ally.''
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