Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 3, Number 14 May 11 - 17, 2003 Quezon City, Philippines
Furor Over Halliburton
-- Halliburton Co.'s emergency, no-bid contract to work on Iraq's oil wells must
be fully disclosed, a Democratic lawmaker says, pointing to the Army's admission
that the company has a far more lucrative role than originally believed.
descriptions said Vice President Dick Cheney's former company would fight oil
fires. The contract also lets the company operate the oil fields for a time and
distribute the petroleum, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said Tuesday. Waxman
cited information he received from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which
awarded the contract.
office has said repeatedly that the vice president has no role in Halliburton's
operations or its government contracts.
spokeswoman for Halliburton said the company's initial announcement of the
contract on March 24 disclosed the larger role for its KBR subsidiary.
Corps wrote Waxman last Friday that the contract included not only extinguishing
fires but "operation of facilities and distribution of products."
do not mean to suggest that the Corps has intentionally misled anyone about the
contract," Waxman wrote Tuesday to Corps commander Lt. Gen. Robert Flowers.
"I am, however, concerned that the administration's reluctance to provide
complete information about this and other Iraqi contracts has denied Congress
and the public important information."
lawmaker also said the Corps' proposal to replace the Halliburton contract with
another long-term deal was at odds with administration statements that
oil belongs to the Iraqi people.
was given the right to extinguish the oil fires under an existing, contingency
contract. Carol Sanders, a spokeswoman for the Corps of Engineers, said
officials were reviewing Waxman's letter but had no immediate response.
spokeswoman Wendy Hall pointed to the company's announcement of the contract in
March, which she said revealed the extent of the work.
release said: "KBR's initial task involves hazard and operational
assessment, extinguishing oil well fires, capping oil well blowouts, as well as
responding to any oil spills. Following this task, KBR will perform emergency
repair, as directed, to provide for the continuity of operations of the Iraqi
said KBR is assisting Iraq's oil ministry to get the oil system operating.
countered, "Only now, over five weeks after the contract was first
disclosed, are members of Congress and the public learning that Halliburton may
be asked to pump and distribute Iraqi oil under the contract."
Waxman also has repeated the Corps' statement that the contract could be worth up to $7 billion for up to two years, but the Corps said that figure was a cap based on a worst-case scenario of oil well fires. In fact, few wells were burning during the war with Iraq and the Corps said that by early April, the company had been paid $50.3 million.
May 7, 2003