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Greg Palast: Keeping Iraq's Oil in the Ground


Keeping Iraq's Oil in the Ground

By Greg Palast
Via AlterNet
Wednesday 14 June 2006


World oil production today stands at more than twice the 15-billion a-year maximum projected by Shell Oil in 1956 - and reserves are climbing at a faster clip yet. That leaves the question, Why this war?

Did Dick Cheney send us in to seize the last dwindling supplies? Unlikely. Our world's petroleum reserves have doubled in just twenty-five years - and it is in Shell's and the rest of the industry's interest that this doubling doesn't happen again. The neo-cons were hell-bent on raising Iraq's oil production. Big Oil's interest was in suppressing production, that is, keeping Iraq to its OPEC quota or less. This raises the question, did the petroleum industry, which had a direct, if hidden, hand, in promoting invasion, cheerlead for a takeover of Iraq to prevent overproduction?

It wouldn't be the first time. If oil is what we're looking for, there are, indeed, extra helpings in Iraq. On paper, Iraq, at 112 billion proven barrels, has the second largest reserves in OPEC after Saudi Arabia. That does not make Saudi Arabia happy. Even more important is that Iraq has fewer than three thousand operating wells... compared to one million in Texas.




This article is excerpted from Greg Palast's new book, Armed Madhouse (Dutton Adult, 2006). See…

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