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Friday, July 29, 2005

The greatest single prize in all history?

Bob Herbert wrote a compelling piece in the NY Times on the topic of Iraq oil; compelling mostly due to the potential number of readers' heads nodding in agreement to the basic premise of the article.

However, when Herbert quotes author Daniel Yergin saying that Iraqi oil represents "The greatest single prize in all history", we see again how short-sighted even the best commentators remain. Clearly, Herbert did not go in for the kill.

So, the great prize will last how long?

Maybe several dozen years? This constitutes "all history"?

Instead, I would offer that the promise of Iraqi oil sounds like the single greatest booby prize for all of mankind.


Professor Blogger SW said...

The Iraqi oil reserves, like the Saudi's have been horribly over-estimated. Western Iraq is a dry hole. Untapped for a reason. The fields in the Kurdish north and the south around Basra have been damaged from years of abusive extraction techniques. The dream of huge increases in production from pre Gulf War 1 levels is just that.

6:10 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Can't argue that.

8:28 AM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

I remain a cynic on Iraqi oil - my bet is they have the largest reserves of oil of all.

I don't like Wolfie much but when he said "Iraq floats on a sea of oil" I believe he not only thought this was true but that he was probably correct.

Getting the stuff piped out of the country is the hard part - might write something on that shortly...

6:54 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Cynical as in expecting the worst out of human nature, but hopeful in that the reserves might be there?

7:20 AM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

Yes to both, though "hopeful" doesn't quite fit - I suspect the oil is there, I also suspect it won't make much difference to the peak given the difficulties in pumping and piping it - but it should flatten out the downslope a bit).

8:27 PM  

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