War for Oil? You Bet

| March 19, 2003

During all the U.N. Security Council infighting over war in Iraq, each country?s relationship to Iraqi oil has gotten very little attention. Probably, says Dale Allen Pfeiffer in From the Wilderness, because so many countries are sneaking around quietly making deals to get what they can out of one of the sweetest berries of the world?s oil reserves.

?Iraq holds proven assets of 112 billion barrels of oil,? writes Pfeiffer. ?Iraq has signed multi-billion dollar deals with . . . companies from Italy, Spain, Russia, France, China, India, Turkey, and others.? Pfeiffer explains that these deals can only be solidified with the permission of the U.N. Security Council, which may explain why the U.S. is so anxious to invade Iraq and take control of the oil reserves.

A 1995 report titled The World?s Oil Supply, by Swiss company Petroconsultants, predicted that global oil production would peak in the first decade after the turn of the century. And oil executives quoted as saying that there?s a desperate need to pump another 80 million barrels a day is evidence that even in these peak years, it?s still not enough.

Many of Iraq?s oil-pumping facilities were damaged during the Gulf War and the 10-year conflict with Iran, and due to the embargo on spare parts and oil field equipment, Iraq is nowhere near their full-capacity production potential. However, under American. supervision, oil derricks would begin popping up like dandelions. The United States has got to do something in order to support a 10.3 million-barrel-a-day habit.
-Nick Garafola

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