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Again - as long as the US forces are there, no investment will take place in the Iraq oil sector (and no, the Norwegian DNO in Kurdistan does not count, it's a ridiculously small operation by any standard).

So it's pointless. Completely. Irredeemably.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You may well be right that it is irredeemably pointless and I agree there won't be any investing before Iraq is "pacified".

But many people said it was pointless before invasion began and they still did it. The signs point to long-term and intensive military presence. The generals seem to think so. They must think they will eventually pacify the place or at least part of it, as crazy as it may seem to us. Moreover, they have to pacify Iraq whether or not they attack Iran. I must say I have always thought they would end up balkanizing Iraq. They were well aware of the great probability of Iraq splitting up if they went in as Cheney said in 1994. The fall back position could be to make a deal with the kurds for a homeland while grabbing as much of the Kirkuk area for its oil. They'd end up controlling more or less half (?) of known reserves in Iraq. I hate to think of what the future has in store for Iraqis.

Attacking Iran seems extremely risky and I don't think they'd take the gamble. Unless they are nuts of course, but I have to acknowledge a more machiavelian view of the state than their allowing the crazies to run the asylum.

by Fete des fous on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:33:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe the vast majority of Iraqi oil is in the shiite south, but I might be wrong.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:37:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also a lot of oil around Kirkuk.

It is interesting that most of Saudi Arabia's oil is also under shiite territory, in Saudi Arabia's shiite North.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:48:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, there is oil at Kirkuk. The field was actually found as early as 1927 IIRC, and the wells were immediatly plugged by the international oil companies to keep the price of oil up. Oh the irony.

But I think there is far more oil in the south. Maybe proprotions like 4 to 1, or something like that.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:54:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The infrastructure in the North is a deal better, though - or less shot up, at least. As far as I've heard from our newsies, the oil is split roughly fifty-fifty between the North and South of Iraq. It's the centre that's out of luck.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:57:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is what I remembered as well but after reading Starvid's comment I looked it up and it appears the reserve distribution is 20% in the North and 70% in the South. I'll have to think about that because it may change my opinion on the need they have to deal with Iran in some fashion.
by Fete des fous on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:26:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
71% of available reserves are in a relatively small area in the south west of Iraq (thought it was the south east, but I was wrong). See David Sinclair's diary An Answer for Iraq.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 03:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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