Who owned the vast oil resources in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion? According to the best of my knowledge, Saddam did by simply claiming total possession of those resources. And he used much of the revenue from that oil to build some fourteen luxurious palaces for himself. He most likely had difficulty in investing his profits outside of Iraq.
It is no wonder that Saddam had no wish to build weapons of mass destruction. He did not want to stir up animosity and suspicion of the western powers, particularly the U.S. And that is the reason that there was not a trace of WMD in Iraq. He had totally destroyed them all. He knew that he was on the road to becoming the world's richest man through his ownership of all oil resources in Iraq. But his greatest obstacle was regaining from U.S. leaders the respectablilty that he once held prior to the first Gulf War. Fullest cooperation with UN inspectors simply did not pay off for him.
After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, western oil companies claimed possession of (stole?) Iraq's oil reserves without purchasing those reserves from any party. With U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and risking their own lives to guard against sabotage of the oil wells and pipelines, the oil companies can feel confident that their investments will be well protected. And the U.S. will be stationed in force in Iraq as long as the oil companies are there, which can be many decades.
So how can the U.S. get out of this quagmire? The answer is to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people and thus greatly reduce their threat to us. The answer is not to force a type of democracy on them in which the elected strongmen must meet U.S. approval. To do so will only intensify their hatred toward us, and more and more atrocities will be performed on both sides. So what is an alternative?
The solution appears to be quite simple in winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Simply force the oil companies to offer the Iraqis half of the pie. The "pie" in this case is half the revenue from oil sales. Of course, a better solution would be to give the Iraqis all oil resources in their country. Then the western oil companies would negotiate with an Iraqi oil ministry. But it appears that the first solution would be easier to implement.