The Iraqi oil legislation, expected to be approved by July, will open the door for the government to sign contracts for exploration and production of the country’s vast untapped reserves, a top U.S. priority. But since few Western companies are prepared to send equipment or crews into the war zone, it could take five years or more before they begin extracting big shipments of Iraqi crude.
”You will see announcements and deals. But dollars in the ground is a different story,” said Saad Rahim, a Mideast analyst with Washington-based PFC Energy.
That leaves China.