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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

 

iraqi oil production plans


via clusterstock and the oil drum:

There is a great deal of controversy about the potential of Iraq's western desert, which is largely unexplored. IHS has claimed that there might be as much as 100Gb there in addition to the known reserves, but since none of this has been confirmed with drilling, it remains speculative (and Laharrere for example doesn't accept this estimate). Big Gav had an Oil Drum post Iraq's Oil: The Greatest Prize Of All? some time back with more background.

However for my purposes today it's enough to note that even if there is only 90Gb, with an initial 5% depletion rate (in line with industry practice) that could support a rate of 12 million barrels/day (the depletion rate is what fraction of the known reserves are produced in a year). So the announced Iraqi plans would not seem to be precluded by lack of reserves. As we will see below, the field by field reserve estimates and production plans that have been made public also seem generally consistent with the plan.


again, this is why the united states got into, is in and will never leave iraq, which will remain an imperial protectorate of the united states until or unless someone dislodges it by force or the oil is gone. iraq was invaded using terrorism as a very flimsy pretext in order to take the high ground in a resource war which the plateauing of global oil production has made inevitable. setting aside all other arguments, saddam hussein proved to be a terrible developer of what are probably the world's last underutilized easily accessible large oil resources -- and primarily for that reason in the context of the production plateau was removed and put to death.

This next graph shows annual average Iraqi oil production over the long term - since the beginning (with a gap for 1956-1964 which falls between my two data sources). I deliberately made the y-axis scale run from zero to 12 mbd to emphasize that Iraq has never produced anywhere close to its potential.

Production was increasing rapidly and roughly exponentially until 1979 when Saddam Hussein took power. Since then, it's been one war or crisis after another, and production has never even reached the 1979 level again, let alone continued up close to the now proposed 12mbd.


god knows if ethnically-divided iraq is capable of staying out of civil war in order to make the announced production plans workable. i would expect the united states to step into iraqi affairs whenever necessary from its entrenched military base set within the country to make it possible for the oil majors to do their stuff. but the political divisions within the country haven't gone away. the mahdi army remains there. and one should expect that western confrontation with iran could result in a rapid destabilization of iraq.

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"iraq was invaded using terrorism as a very flimsy pretext in order to take the high ground in a resource war which the plateauing of global oil production has made inevitable. "

I thought it was WMD... as in the WMD that virtually every politician in washington believed were there.

 
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lots of folks have WMD, anon. they were dangerous in iraq because saddam hussein was a state sponsor of terrorism -- with direct responsibility for 9/11, no less. or so we were asked to believe. many did, and many still do.

 
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"they were dangerous in iraq because saddam hussein was a state sponsor of terrorism -- with direct responsibility for 9/11, no less. or so we were asked to believe."

A source would be helpful.

 
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^ Are you kidding?

 
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