It's the Oil, Stupid!
"The GCC is in the midst of a period of exceptional economic performance. We are now forecasting aggregate GDP to expand by more than one-third for 2005 and 2006, while foreign assets are estimated to rise in these two years by more than $360 billion." -- IIF Managing Director Charles DallaraNot coincidentally, since the war in Iraq began, the price of a barrel of oil has more than doubled.
But how did this happen? Is it just luck on the part of Saudi Arabia and the other GCC states? Or could it have something to do with Iraq and the diminished oil supply on the broad market?
According to a US Department of Energy website, Iraq is estimated to hold 115 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, and possibly much more undiscovered oil in unexplored areas of the country. Unfortunately, occupied Iraq is only pumping oil at a fraction of its peak capability.
"Under optimal conditions, and including routes through both Syria and Saudi Arabia that are now closed or being utilized for other purposes, Iraq's oil export infrastructure could handle throughput of more than 6 million bbl/d (2.8 via the Gulf, 1.65 via Saudi Arabia, 1.6 via Turkey, and perhaps 300,000 bbl/d or so via Jordan and Syria). However, Iraq's export facilities (pipelines, ports, pumping stations, etc.) were seriously disrupted by the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the 1990/1991 Gulf War, the most recent war in March/April 2003, and periodic looting and sabotage since then. Currently, Iraq's export capacity is theoretically as high as 2.5 million bbl/d (around 2.0 via the Gulf and 0.3-0.5 via Turkey)." -- Department of Energy Report on Iraq, June of 2005.Since the invasion, there have been 257 attacks on Iraqi oil infrastructure including the country's 4,350-mile-long pipeline system. Due to these attacks, Iraqi oil has had a very hard time making it to the market. This, in turn, has had an effect on the scarcity of oil and therefore the price of oil. And voila, thats how you have the situation we have today-- where aggregate GCC exports are forecast at $391 billion in 2005 and $416 billion in 2006, similar to the combined total for Brazil, India and Russia."
To put it in perspective by way of comparison, revenues from oil exports were just $61 billion in 1998 and averaged under $100 billion for the ten years to 2003. Not too bad for the Saudis, is it?
"Saudi Arabia's oil export revenue between 2004 and 2006 is forecast to be greater than that for the whole of the 1990s."Considering how Bush spared no attempt to link 9/11 to Iraq, and used 9/11 as one of the assortment of reasons to invade Iraq, isn't it quite troubling that Saudi Arabia is profiting so much from 9/11 and the ensuing war in Iraq? When you consider that 15 of the alleged 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens, isn't that just a tad perplexing?
Are Bush's ties to the House of Saud still unworthy of government oversight and investigation? Or are we finally going to say 'enough is enough'?
Let's play connect the dots, shall we? Bush is financially tied to the Saudis. The Saudis (ahem, ahem....with Bush's consent and assistance) pull off the 9/11 attack. Bush uses 9/11 to do what the PNAC and Bush's Neocon friends have wanted to do since 1998-- invade Iraq. In a state of managed chaos, Iraqi oil is trickled onto the world market while world oil demand is also on the steady rise. As a result, the price of oil skyrockets. Bush and his friends get the sweet Iraqi oil deals, and Bush and the Saudis reap major profits off of the increased price of oil ber barrel. (Not to mention the great profits Bush's Carlyle Group, Cheney's Halliburton, and Schultz's Bechtel get to make off of the rebuilding of Iraq)
If you still think this war was about WMD's or democracy, get your head examined. Iraq has an estimated 115 billion barrels of oil waiting to be pumped (with a likelihood, according to the DOE, that there is even more which has yet to be discovered). Strictly at today's price of oil, without factoring the time value of money or inflation or the ever increasing price of oil as supply dwindles, Iraqi oil is worth over $7.5 trillion dollars. That's about 4 years worth of America's entire gross domestic product! Now consider how much that oil will be worth in five or ten years when the demand is even higher as China and India become even more desirous of oil. Oh brother, we are talking about oil that is likely worth about $50 trillion dollars when you consider all the factors.
Last year, the United State's entire gross domestic product was $2.2 trillion. Still think oil had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq?