Iraq and Iran plot oil revolution in challenge to Saudi Arabia: Iraq's goal of pumping 9m barrels a day of crude could be a game changer for oil pricesWell yes indeed: there is enough oil in Iraq alone to achieve that. Whether there are enough competent oil engineers there is another question: I knew loads of the old Iran hands who were sent packing in 1979, and after their departure the mullahs somehow never managed to get the stuff flowing properly again, despite having all the incentive in the world. It really isn't as easy as it looks, even if the Telegraph is correct when it goes on to say:
BP and Royal Dutch Shell are also poised to benefit from Iraq's ambitious production plans. Both companies are already managing two huge oil fields in southern Iraq which are vital if Baghdad is to achieve its goal.But that's just the technicalities. The plentiful Iraqi resources that are widely said to be 'available' with per-barrel production costs less than $10 are probably real enough; but '$10' is before you factor in the need to pay off or repulse every bugger with a stick of semtex for 500 miles.
Now as we know, our old friend Volodya (that's Mr Putin, Sir, when oil is above $100) will be well up a gumtree were the price of oil to plummet. I don't know what that tells you about the proliferation of semtex in the Middle East but there's probably some kind of inverse relationship to be hypothesised.
One thing the greenie-reds always chime in with at this point is: shale production (gas and oil) is also scuppered by oil prices much below $100. Maybe, but so what ? Supply & demand, commodity cycles - stuff happens. (Sunk costs happen as well and ignorant people are endlessly surprised by how that works out.) I'm a consumer, I like low prices. Still, it might mean Putin has a few fellow travellers down his path.