Iraqi Oil Minister Dr. Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, alumnus of New Mexico Tech (202) 224-7082

WASHINGTON, D. C., Sept. 24, 2003 -- U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today indicated a willingness to soon meet with Iraqi Oil Minister Dr. Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, alumnus of New Mexico Tech, to discuss efforts to ramp up Iraq's oil production in order to help stabilize the newly-freed nation's economy.

Domenici, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has sent a letter to Dr. Bahr al-Uloum offering to meet with him and to underscore an invitation to attend an upcoming international oil and gas conference in Socorro.

Domenici, who also serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee that his now considering an $87 billion supplemental package that would go toward rebuilding the Iraqi economy, said there is broad interest in Congress seeing that Iraqi energy production is increased.

"I hope you will visit me in Washington. Many members of Congress would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can support your work. As chairman of key Senate energy committees and as a leader of oil legislation for the United States, I am very aware of your Herculean task," Domenici wrote.

"Obviously, the ultimate success of the reconstruction plan hinges on the successful rebuilding of the Iraqi oil business. I am sure that if our countries work together we will reach the initial goal of generating $4 billion in oil revenue by 2005 for reconstruction, which will be the first step in demonstrating Iraq's ability to help finance its own recovery," he said.

Domenici said Bahr al-Uloum would find ready welcome at an international oil and gas conference hosted by New Mexico Tech's Petroleum Recovery Research Center, Oct. 12-14.

"Let me assure you that many of us from New Mexico were elated to hear the good news. We are proud of the fact that one of our New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology alumni has attained such a highly regarded and critically important international position," Domenici said.

Domenici will take part Wednesday in the second of two Senate Appropriations Committee hearings on the $87 billion sought by the Bush administration for post-war and anti-terrorism work in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Donald Rumseld is slated to testify at the 10 a.m. hearing.