Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Iraqi president says govt. controls 95% of oil export revenue
CAIRO, November 14 (RIA Novosti) - The government of Iraq controls 95% of proceeds from the export of the country's oil, President Jalal Talabani said on Wednesday. "We fully control the sources of oil, because that is our national wealth," the president said in an interview with the Cairo based Al-Ahram weekly. He said receipts from the crude sales are credited to a bank account in France with the government controlling 95%, and 5% being withheld by the United Nations to pay to other countries. The president said the United States troops deployed in Iraq do not control its oil resources, but help fight the illegal tapping of oil. Iraq has the world's third largest proven oil reserves, estimated by the country's Petroleum Ministry at 115 billion barrels, but experts say the country's oil potential is considerably higher. Iraq's official oil exports are roughly 1.7 million barrels per day, but according to local media, hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil are illegally exported on a daily basis.