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Shell dilemma over Iraq Iran oil well stand off

By John Donovan

Extracts from a current Reuters report

Iraqi and Iranian forces are dug in on either side of a disputed inactive oil well in the sensitive border area, with Iraqis vowing to fight if necessary to fend off another occupation of the well by Iranian soldiers.

The seizure of the well, which Iraq says is part of its Fakka oilfield in southeast Maysan province, triggered protests from the government in Baghdad and caused a rise in prices on jittery world oil markets.

The Iranian forces have since pulled back, but Iraq says they are still on its territory, stirring echoes of the border dispute that led to the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, in which about 1 million people died.

These wells in the Fakka region are Iraqi, and we will defend them to the last drop of blood,” said Brigadier-General Razak Abdul Hassan of the Iraqi border guards at Fakka.

Fakka is part of the Maysan oilfield complex, with reserves of 2.5 billion barrels…

Royal Dutch Shell will be faced with a difficult choice if the situation escalates.

Which regime will it support, the corrupt Iraq government with which it has recently inked a deal for access to Iraq oil, or the fanatical murderous regime in Iran where Shell has set up offices in connection with a news report earlier this month announcing Iran is finalizing talks with Shell for its participation in a multibillion dollar LNG venture?

Will it come to choosing between oil or gas – Iraq or Iran?

Fortunately for Shell, its business principles are only window dressing to conjure up the illusion that Royal Dutch Shell Plc is an ethical company, or otherwise both options would be ruled out on ethical trading grounds.

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