The Independant recently carried an article by Danny Forston
that states that American and British petrochemical multinationals like Exxon and BP are posed to form long-term contracts with Iraq to exploit its long dormant oil reserves. In related news, I've invented a perpetual motion device; contact me if you're interested in investing.
Anything contract signed with the current puppet government that smacks of pillaging of Iraq's resources simply isn't going to be honoured. The Sunni and Shia nationalists are both boycotting parliament, so any agreements signed are only going to be seen as looting the treasury by a puppet government that will flee the country when army and marines do. The USA doesn't have any credibility regarding Iraq internationally so I don't see how the USA can enforce its agreements outside of the limited power that grows out of the barrel of a gun.
In fact, I would go so far to state that if the American oil companies want any of the action, they'd better create a lot of distance between themselves and the American government in the eyes of the Iraqi people. For every Haliburton in the world, there's a French Schlumberger who aren't tainted by association with the occupation government.
I think this story is more credulous hope by Western executives and politicos living in the Emerald City than serious business wheeling and dealing. Exxon, Chevon, et al. must be getting pretty desperate if they see Iraq as their last, best source of new reserves to prevent a future drop in share prices.