... Robert Sanders was sent by the Army (in 2004) to inspect the construction work an American company was doing on the banks of the Tigris River, 130 miles north of Baghdad .....What he found instead that day in July 2004 looked like some gargantuan heart-bypass operation gone nightmarishly bad.
A crew had bulldozed a 300-foot-long trench along a giant drill bit in their desperate attempt to yank it loose from the riverbed. A supervisor later told him that the project's crews knew that drilling the holes was not possible, but that they had been instructed by the company in charge of the project to continue anyway.
The project, called the Fatah pipeline crossing, had been a critical element of a $2.4 billion no-bid reconstruction contract that a Halliburton subsidiary had won from the Army in 2003.
The spot where about 15 pipelines crossed the Tigris had been the main link between Iraq's rich northern oil fields and the export terminals and refineries that could generate much-needed gasoline, heating fuel and revenue for Iraqis.
... The Fatah project went ahead despite warnings from experts that it could not succeed because the underground terrain was shattered and unstable.
It continued chewing up astonishing amounts of cash when the predicted problems bogged the work down, with a contract that allowed crews to charge as much as $100,000 a day as they waited on standby.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Unknown | Tuesday, April 25, 2006 |