US Figures on Iraqi Oil Production Challenged
The Independent charged on Sunday that the US civil administrators in Iraq have often overstated the amount of petroleum Iraq is able to export under their rule, and have downplayed sabotage and other bad news. It says that experienced oil men “shake their heads” at the oil statistics coming out of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Iraq was producing about 2.5 million barrels a day before the war, and the US claims to be producing almost 2 million barrels a day now, despite repeated sabotage of the oil pipelines in the north and smuggling and sabotage in the south.
I am not qualified to judge whether the Independent is right about all this, but if the CPA has in fact been embellishing its figures on oil wouldn’t the world oil markets notice? Also, I know that some of the sabotage in the north has not been of the pipeline to Turkey, but of local pipelines that do not affect exports.