• Oil and “Iraq’s Transition to Something”

    May 31, 2011

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Iran, Iraq, Other Ideas

    Ben Lando, chief of the Iraqi Oil Report, fails here in making any intelligent point. He reiterates that Iraqi has a lot of oil underneath it (indeed, that oil has been there for several thousand years or more) and that progress in extracting it has been slow. He seems unsure why, though the host offers multiple suggestions such as infrastructure problems and security.

    The only useful line here is “we’ll need to keep an eye on progress as Iraq transitions to, um, something, we don’t know what.”

    To be fair, Ben wrote to me to clarify things:

    I think the bigger picture, which isn’t quite captured on a quickie interview, is that the potential is there and even the people to realize that potential is there – Iraqis inside and outside Iraq, and the ex-pats they trust – but they have a lot stacked against them, including their leadership and that of other countries.

    And this is what I think Iraq is at right now, a chaotic transition, an elongated fork in the road, and their choice/choices foisted upon them, has not been finalized.

    Even richer in irony, Iraq just inked a deal with Iran to buy natural gas for Baghdad’s power plants. Iran will build a gas pipeline that will pass ironically through Iraq’s own rich but undeveloped Mansuriyah gas field near the Iranian border in volatile Diyala province. The gas would supply a power plant in Sadr City in northern Baghdad, and another plant in the northern outskirts of Baghdad. The pipeline will be completed in 18 months.

    It hard to imagine that the US will enforce its own sanctions against trading with Iran against ‘lil bro’ Iraq, though that would be hilarious.

    More specifics are available in Twelve Reasons Iraq will not be a Major Oil Exporter.

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