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Pentagon Ends Deal with Halliburton to Import Fuel to Iraq - 2003-12-31

The U.S. Defense Department says it will end an arrangement with energy giant Halliburton to import fuel to Iraq. The Pentagon said a military unit that buys fuel for the armed forces will find new private contractors to replace Halliburton.

The decision comes several weeks after the Pentagon said it had evidence that the U.S. government may have been overcharged for fuel delivered in Iraq this year by Halliburton, a company run by Dick Cheney before he became vice president.

The Pentagon said a Halliburton subsidiary failed to get a reasonable price for the fuel from a subcontractor in Kuwait and passed the additional charges -- $61 million -- on to the U.S. government.

President Bush says that if there was an overcharge, and he believes there was, he expects the "money to be repaid."

Halliburton says it expects to be cleared by a thorough Defense Department review on the matter. The company says its pricing resulted from a contract with a Kuwaiti firm.

Some information for this report provided by AP.