“It seems to me that the possibility that Iraq may actually succeed in doing this… bring[ing] production up from the current 2.5mbd or so to 12 mbd over the course of the next 6-7 years… should be taken seriously. If it did succeed, that would act to delay the final plateau of oil production by a decade (ballpark), make that plateau be at a higher level (95-100mbd ballpark), and significantly moderate oil prices in the meantime.”

One thought on “Stuart Staniford, energy commentator, posting on The Oil Drum”

  1. Prior to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq it was widely reported that Iraqi oil reserves were estimated to be around 100 billion barrels. It was also true that the Iraqi government’s oil ministry had “abused” and improperly pumped the Iraqi oil fields for years. This was partly due to inadequate knowledge, lack of capital investment and partly due to the lack of modern oil field services both before and after the first “Gulf War” in 1991. Note that Halliburton was operating in Iraq in the 1990s, so some practices may have improved. I think it is unclear today just how large the Iraqi proven oil reserves are. And there is a political struggle over control of oil in northern Iraq which could easily lead to armed conflict between the Kurds and the Iraqi government. With all of the political tensions and violence in Iraq it doesn’t seem likely that Iraqis could achieve a 5x increase in production over the next 6 or 7 years. And where will the capital come from to build the additional infrastructure?

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