War for Oil? You Bet

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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