The Iraqi hydrocarbon law, which was planned in Washington and is still pending, has many implications for West Africa. It shows the intentions of the western oil companies, and the Bush administration, toward any oil reserves they can exploit anywhere. African governments take heed. Some regard this law as the victory Bush and Cheney intended when they invaded Iraq.

You can read a discussion of the present status of the bill, and the various viewpoints here.

But I think The Spy Who Billed Me, which is a particularly noteworthy blog, states the situation most succinctly:

The proposed law will allow international oil companies to retain 70% of production over the next 30 years. An additional 20% of production will be tax-free. These are particularly lucrative terms. Countries that allow foreign ownership of a portion of production generally limit this to 20%. US allies Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have completely nationalized production and do not allow any portion to go directly to the firms.