According to this Reuters story from 1 February, the Iraqi opposition is thinking about how to encourage investment in Iraq’s oil industry if Saddam Hussein is deposed. An excerpt:
While Iraq has huge oil reserves, they remain under-developed because U.N.-imposed sanctions have blocked the foreign investment needed to exploit them at full capacity.
The group discussed the problems that a future Iraqi government would face in rehabilitating and modernizing its oil sector, and examined energy policy options.
“A stable political environment with attractive investment opportunities, that are in line with international norms and practices, are needed in a post-Saddam Iraq,” the group said.
In its statement, the group did not say if current contracts that foreign oil companies, especially those from Russia, have with Saddam to develop Iraq’s oil fields should be renegotiated by a new Iraqi government.
The working group is expected to come up with formal recommendations at a later meeting on how to run Iraq’s energy sector that would be eventually be presented to a new Iraqi transitional government.
While foreign investment will be needed, the group emphasized that the Iraqi energy sector “will continue to be managed by Iraqis for the benefit of the Iraqi people.”