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The superpowers squaring off over Iraq’s giant oil field

The superpowers squaring off over Iraq’s giant oil field

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Ever since the U.S. signalled through its effective withdrawal from Syria that it now has little interest in becoming involved in military actions in the Middle East, the door has been fully opened to China and Russia to advance their ambitions in the region. For Russia, the Middle East offers a key military pivot from which it can project influence West and East and that it can use to capture and control massive oil and gas flows in both directions as well. For China, the Middle East – and, absolutely vitally, Iran and Iraq – are irreplaceable stepping stones towards Europe for its era-defining ‘One Belt, One Road’ project. Earlier this week an announcement was made by Iraq’s Oil Ministry that highlights each of these factors at play, through a relatively innocuous-sounding contract award to a relatively unknown Chinese firm. Specifically, it was announced that China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corp (CPECC) has been awarded a US$121 million engineering contract to…
Source: The superpowers squaring off over Iraq’s giant oil field

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