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Halliburton Contracts in Iraq Exceed $800 Million

Most were awarded under a 2001 pact with a subsidiary of the firm once headed by Cheney.

June 21, 2003|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — A unit of Halliburton Co., the Texas oil giant once led by Vice President Dick Cheney, has received more than $800 million in work orders in Iraq so far, according to military figures obtained Friday.

Most of the orders are under a military contract awarded in December 2001 to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, which a Democratic lawmaker labeled "obscure and lucrative."

That contract, called the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, does not have a spending ceiling.

By the end of May, task orders for Iraq accounted for $596.8 million of the $708 million earmarked under that deal.

Under the contract, the Halliburton subsidiary has provided housing, recreation, laundry, power and sanitation for American troops in Iraq, said Dan Carlson, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Ill.

Kellogg Brown & Root has a separate contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair and operate Iraq's oil wells. That contract was awarded in March in a no-competition process.

By June 13, $213 million had been budgeted under this contract to Kellogg. The contract has a ceiling of $7 billion, but that limit was formulated with the worst-case scenario in mind. The Army Corps of Engineers was expected soon to open up the contract to competitive bids.

Several Democratic lawmakers have complained loudly about the amount of work given to Halliburton, suggesting that the company's close links to the Bush administration brought business to the oil firm, a view the administration strongly rejects.

Lt. Gene Pawlick, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, said a new tender inviting competitive bids to replace Kellogg's contract in Iraq was likely to be announced soon, possibly early next week. Kellogg can also bid for the new contract.

So far, under the oil well contract, Kellogg has repaired oil facilities and provided training, damage assessment, construction of base camps for workers and distribution of liquid propane to Iraqis, said Pawlick.

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