American Adviser to Kurds Outed as Oil Shareholder
Galbraith's policy push won him $100M
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2009 9:15 AM CST
In this Jan. 23, 2007 file photo, Peter Galbraith speaks to the state Legislature about what he sees as the conclusion of the war in Iraq during a presentation in Montpelier, Vt.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – An influential American advocate for Iraqi Kurds, who helped successfully secure Kurdish control over new oil finds in northern Iraq in the country's constitution, stands to reap more than $100 million from the policy he shaped. Peter Galbraith, it turns out, received rights to an enormous oil stake in Kurdistan in 2004, after negotiating permission for a Norwegian oil company to drill there, the New York Times reports.

Galbraith's holdings, outed by Norwegian investigative journalists, are estimated to be worth at least $115 million. The news of his interests in Kurdistan plays into deep-seated Iraqi fears that the true motivation for the American invasion was to take Iraq's oil. "The idea that an oil company was participating in the drafting of the Iraqi Constitution leaves me speechless," said one Iraqi of Galbraith's role in creating the 2005 constitution.