Securing Iraqi Oil Fields...for US Competitors

Iraq will pump up oil production from 2.4 million barrels a day now to 12 million barrels by 2017. That’s the promise of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who’d like to hold onto his job after elections on Sunday.

It’s not 2004 anymore. And it’s no longer in Washington’s interest to play up purple fingers in Iraqi elections. So let’s bring you up to speed on what’s been happening there since the “surge” was deemed a success:

  • A bevy of suicide bombings this week went underreported in the US press. Three explosions just today killed 12 people. Chances are it’s the work of the Sunni minority, who’ve stayed quiet the last couple years because US troops paid them off to lie low – a key reason “the surge” has kept the fighting to a dull roar.
  • The Sunnis are restless because the Shiite majority maneuvered recently to keep hundreds of Sunni candidates for parliament and local offices off the ballot. Of course, we were told the whole idea of “the surge” was to give Iraq’s factions breathing room to settle their differences. So much for that.

We still have 100,000 American troops in Babylon trying to make sure that non-American oil companies like BP and China National Petroleum Corp. have reasonably secure access to the giant Rumaila oil field. (ExxonMobil got a small consolation prize in the bidding.) We marvel at the spectacle.

Addison Wiggin
for The Daily Reckoning