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[casi] A few bits of information about Oil

Most countries quoted oil reserves are not much use.  OPEC countries in particular had big jumps in 
their official reserves figures when Opec decided to link quotas to reserves.

Many countries (including Iraq) tend to quote the same reserve figure each year.  This implies that 
they find amounts of oil exactly equal to that which is taken out of the ground.

Colin Campbell (a retired oil geologist) and others have done calculations as to what they really 
think is available globally.  (None of these figures are totally accurate as they are educated 

Using figures from april 2000 his estimate is that Iraq has 15.9 billion barrels of oil to find and 
actually has found 119.1 billion.  This leaves 110 to produce (not actually far off from the 
official figure)  (about 25 billion had been produced).  Iraq produced about 2.5 million barrels a 
day in 1999.   Saudi Arabia has about 220 to produce and in 1999 was producing 7.5 million a day).

The real key to the oil debate is aggregate global production.  If Iraq produced 6mbd rather than 
the maximum 3mbd it has tended to produce then the global price would be lower.  That will, 
however, only last for a short while as the geological limitations on oil supply are now impacting 
on production.

Although the US is debating whether it would take oil revenues to pay for the costs of occupation 
the key US economic requirement is cheap oil.  They don't actually have to import oil from Iraq, 
but they need a lot of oil to be produced globally.   That is the same for much of the global 
economy although the Russians would not be that enthusiastic about this as they still have 95 
billion to produce compared to the US's 25 (all from these figures in 2000 - the current figures 
will, of course, be different but the substance of the argument remains the same.)

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