From the moment American and British troops swept across the border into Iraq, there have been rumors of a connection between the desire of oil companies and the invasion. New documents from England reveal PRIOR to the invasion, there were secret talks between ministers in the Tony Blair government and senior officials of oil companies. Tony Blair has always dismissed claims of an “oil conspiracy” as “absurd.” However, five months before the March invasion of 2003, Baroness Symons, then Trade Minister, told BP executives that British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Blair’s military commitment to the United States plan for regime change. Symons offered to lobby the Bush administration in order to ensure the British got their fair share of Iraq oil. Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG(formerly British Gas) on October 31, 2002, read: “Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US Government through the crisis.”
In October, 2002, Edward Chaplin, the Foreign Office;s Middle East director, noted: Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in Iraq for the sake of their long-term future… We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in post war Saddam Iraq.” As we recall the Bush and Blair governments continually denied there were any agreements with oil companies in connection with the invasion.