Comments: Iraq and the oil factor

Iraq's potential for expanded oil production from it's low levels before the war is the biggest reason it was the first middle-eastern swamp targeted for draining. It's production capacity will provide the world with the necessary supplies as Iran and Saudi Arabia undergo similar conversions to representative democracies. Uncertainty over damage and sabotage to these other suppliers makes outside imposed changes in these regimes unlikely until Iraq can supplant these suppliers. This is not strickly a US oil supply problem. Significant disruptions in oil supplies is a world problem. And yes, the US must grow up and drill in Alaska.

Posted by Gary B at August 3, 2004 04:47 AM

An interesting adjunct to above is looking at current consumption and production figures in Billion ton/yr (rather than barells/day). This shows US, Canada, Norway and UK reserves at under 10 years at current production rates, and 37 years for the world - again assuming existing reserves and useage rates. In the next 5 years as developed country reserves expire the only real players are mid east, with over 80% of reserves. USA with 22 billion barrels reserves, and consumption of 7.2 billion barrels/year has equivalent of 3 yrs consumption as reserves. All figures from www.cia.gov, but similar to above.

Posted by Matthew T at August 6, 2004 03:33 PM