Connecting the dots on why we went into Iraq in 2003 is getting a little easier, as the mainstream media starts to cover certain points. Ok, they’re really pretty fat dots that we’re connecting here.
One more was added today as the Iraqi oil minister announed that the countries estimated reserves have jumped about 25% (of course this could just be to tempt investment, it could be industry hype)
Al Jazeera – Iraq announces jump in oil reserves http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/10/201010462122529481.html
NPR aslo had a segment on the announcement, talking to Ben Lando, Iraq Bureau chief for http://www.iraqoilreport.com/ A site I had only recently discovered myself, for this article: American Base in Basra on front line of oil boom.
Ben said something which rang like a bell through the mist in the closing moments of the segment when asked about exactly how much oil might be out there in the world, some of it we might not know about yet:
<some talking about new technology> “What people will usually say is that the low-hanging fruit is gone, except for in Iraq. Iraq is the last place where there’s a country with massive untapped and even undiscovered oil and gas reserves. Iraq is a place for the oil sector right now, and everything else kind of pales in comparison.” – Ben Lando
Thanks Ben. Thanks a whole lot. Anyone who hears that quote and still thinks we didn’t go into Iraq with some measure of attempting to open up that countries energy reserves is in utter denial.
Dick Cheney crafted the Bush administration’s energy policy, with the “energy task force” (check out the link to a map of Iraqi oil fields in that wikipedia article. Gun.. smoke much ?).
A subscriber to the belief that peak oil theory would come to fruition fairly soon, Dick had an inkling it was about time to create a climate that was more condusive to opening up Iraq.
The Lloyds 360 Risk assesment on sustainable energy security 2010 also talks a little bit about Iraq, calling it the “wild card” of OPEC and stating that the aim is to see 12 million barrels a day exported onto markets by 2016.
So wait, what am I implying here ? with these big fat dots (Like Saddam trading oil exclusively in Euros in 2002) That come around 2016 when presumably Saudi Arabia is growing and perhaps cutting back on its exports, increasing domestic consumption from a giant oil field which has been producing since 1943, and perhaps Mexican oil exports will have declined a bit more etc etc .. (many unknowns and unknowables)
Will we be sucking a bunch of oil from Iraq ? what will those numbers look like ? who will be the big exporters at that point ? Canada, Africa, Iraq ? Venuzuela ? How much more will we be depending on Iraq in 2020-2030 … And will we feel any guilt for ripping that country open, ending the lives of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people 30 years before ? Will we wince at the connection, however small it is, however little we depend on Iraq for our future oil addiction, was it worth it ? We might never know.
This wild tangent was brought to you by a cup of earl grey tea and mcvities digestive biscuits.