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Re: [casi] Net and gross oil imports

That does happen, that prices go up, because the oil markets get "jittery"
about whether there will a disruption to Iraqi supplies or not, any kind of
uncertainty does this.Particularly recently with colin powell's so called
smart sanctions idea which the US had been trying to push through the last
couple of times when the oil for food would come up for renewal, Iraq would
make threats to cut exports off totally, the US and Russians would negotiate
and not come up with anything different anyway but all this talk and
uncertainty causes prices to go up because traders panic thinking supply
will be cut--or speculate that it will. Iraq actually stopped exporting for
one month in the middle of last year. The next phase expires in May, and it
will be very interesting to see if Powell pushes smart sanctions again
against the backdrop of the US all but saying they will start bombing to
bring the Iraqi regime down. Now the US and Russians are getting along
better so maybe there's a greater chance it will go through thes ecurity
council, in which case the Iraqis will vigorously oppose it, and that could
be another spanner in the works for all this war talk.
I don't know what is meant by "manipulation," but this explanation of rising
oil prices would not suggest a conspiracy theory.I'm interested in this
manipulation theory though.

----- Original Message -----
From: "pjw8" <>
To: "pjw8" <>
Cc: "casi-discuss" <>
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 10:04 AM
Subject: RE: [casi] Net and gross oil imports

>=I met Andre Gunther Frank (he is a bigtime marxist
academic) at a conference last year,
he told me he has tracked the oil prices and the sanctions
policy at the UN, and has noticed a correlation that prices
change just before Iraq comes up for review at the Security
Council. He has written about it. Couldn't
find it on his website, and he didn't respond to my
email request. But this kind of manipulation (and it
sounds very plausible)  should be
checked out, Philippa Winkler

==== Original Message From peter kiernan <> =====
>As an interesting aside to whether oil prices will suddenly rise if there
>a US bombing of Iraq, there probably will be in the very short term, in
>oil prices have already gone up somewhat because of this fear of disruption
>to supplies.After September 11 oil prices bottomed out because the market
>was depressed about the world economy, but now it sees things are improving
>and that Opec is tightening enough supplies to keep prices up a bit.
>Iraq exports about 1.5 million barrels per day to between 2 million b/d at
>the moment, but the Saudis have alone have enough of what is called "spare
>capacity" ie. what they have left over from what they aren't producing to
>cover any shortfall in Iraqi supplies. the rest of Opec will probaably chip
>in as well to make sure prices are kept stable. Nevertheless oil markets
>very volatile and they probably can;t avoid a short term scare which will
>see prices go up, but Opec will be expected to do their bit and produce
>enough extra oil to calm things down a bit, and keep prices stable.
>An interesting aspect of the oil for food program is that the price of
>Iraq's exports are now set by the UN sanctions committee. Because last year
>the Iraqi government was charging its buyers a "surcharge" per barrel which
>was pocketed by the iraqi government, outside the oil for food program, the
>UN sanctions committee stepped in and now sets prices retrospectively to
>and stop the iraqi government from pocketing this levy from traders outside
>the program. What this has done is brought unpredictability to Iraq's oil
>exports, because buyers have become wary of Iraqi oil because they don't
>know what price they will pay until the end of each month, after they have
>bought it.The level of Iraq's exports has gone down since this
>system was introduced, and its just another reason for disputes every time
>new phase in the oil for food program gets renewed. Who's to blame? That I
>can't answer but as someone who has followed this probably both parties on
>this specific issue because both are engaging in pathetic politicking,
>Peter Kiernan
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "peter kiernan" <>
>To: "Per Klevnäs" <>; "Eric Herring"
>Cc: <>
>Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 12:42 AM
>Subject: Re: [casi] Net and gross oil imports
>> Hi,
>> i think Per has cleared this up. The US does export oil but very little,
>> thats because domestic consumption far exceeds domestic supply, ie. in
>> early 1970s, the US produced about 9 million barrels per day of oil, but
>> it produces about 5.9 million b/d, yet its imports of crude oil average
>> these dys about 9 million b/d because consumption keeps growing.Of that 9
>> million b/d about 1 million b/d now comes from Iraq, which is a very
>> interesting statistic,
>> best,
>> Peter
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Per Klevnäs" <>
>> To: "Eric Herring" <>
>> Cc: <>
>> Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 12:17 PM
>> Subject: Re: [casi] Net and gross oil imports
>> Hi Eric,
>> > I still can't work out the meaning of net versus gross oil
>> > imports. Enlightenment welcome
>> Gross imports is all oil purchased by US companies and consumers from
>> abroad.  However, as the US is a producer of oil as well as a consumer,
>> some of its production will enter the world market and be exported.  Net
>> imports take this into account, so that:
>> Net Oil Imports = Gross Oil Imports - Oil Exports
>> To illustrate: one could imagine an economy which imports as much oil as
>> it exports; net imports would be zero, disguising the fact that there is
>> significant trade going on, but capturing in some sense that domestic
>> productive capacity could, in some sense, substitute for imports in the
>> event that trade ceased.
>> In the fact-sheet the gross imports from the Gulf are used to illustrate
>> developments over time and to compare with alternative sources of US oil
>> imports ('Western Hemisphere' and 'Other').  Exports are rather
>> irrelevant here, as they don't change the composition of the US sources
>> of oil or what regions matter for the US market.
>> Net imports are used to compare the United States' situation to that of
>> other regions' (Western Europe's and Japan's). This may make the
>> comparison more relevant: Japan does not export oil, and comparing gross
>> imports would understate US dependence on oil from the Gulf in the
>> trade setup.
>> Another relevant comparison is with total oil demand: 14% of all oil
>> used in the US came from the Gulf in 2001, corresponding to 25% of net
>> imports.  In other words, net imports corresponds to roughly 56% of all
>> oil used in the US.  That is: 'if the US did not export any oil, its
>> current domestic production would cover some 44% of its current
>> consumption'.  More information is available on a slide show on
>> I hope this helps,
>> Per Klevnäs
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> Research Co-ordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
>> email:    
>> tel:    01223 329 131                mobile:   07990 501 905
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
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