‘(W)e will present an array of alternatives, including continuation of the 100 per cent state-owned system in place during the regime of Saddam Hussein,’ he is quoted as saying.

‘You have to realise that oil occupies a very important and unique place in the minds of the Iraqi people,’ he said. ‘It constitutes the overwhelming dominant force in the country. It provides the wherewithal of building a better life for the Iraqis. There are also feelings throughout the population that oil represents, in essence, the national heritage of Iraq.’

The Los Angeles Times reported that documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) show that Carroll continues to receive more than $1 million a year from Fluor Corporation in retirement benefits and bonuses linked to the company’s performance. He also owns 1 million shares of the company’s shares. Carroll was previously Fluor’s chief executive. The company says it plans to bid for contracts in the oil industry reconstruction programme being managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Carroll said that stocks of Iraqi oil are being traded for Kuwaiti gasoline and natural gas and supplies from other unnamed countries in the region.