"Today the most important natural resource has been returned to Iraqis to serve all Iraqis," Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said. "I'm pleased to announce that full sovereignty and full control on oil industry has been handed over to the oil ministry today and to the new Iraqi government as of today."
The announcement came as Allawi and Oil Minister Thamir Ghadbhan toured the al-Doura oil refinery in southern Baghdad.
After meeting and shaking hands with the refinery workers, the two ministers thanked oil sector workers.
"We are totally now in control, there are no more advisers," Ghadbhan said. "We are running the show, the oil policies will be implemented 100 percent by Iraqis."
Allawi said the handover of the oil ministry before June 30 reflects "our full confidence in the oil minister. It's evidence that oil ministry has worked perfectly."
Referring to the former regime of Saddam Hussein, Allawi said that "in the past, Iraqi oil was used in building palaces, buying weapons to achieve one person's goals."
Iraq has the world's second largest oil reserves, with more than 110 billion barrels of crude oil and about 100,000 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, Allawi said.
A force has been established solely for the protection of the oil infrastructure, made up of about 14,000 guards.
Edited by Kellalor, 08 June 2004 - 09:04 PM.