Remember when we marched in the streets of New York City in early 2003, over a half-million of us that no one called a movement, chanting "No blood for oil!"? They said we were wrong. They said it was about a constantly-changing stream of excuses to go to war in Iraq. Rachel Maddow, whose microphone was cut off right in the middle of it, had a devastating commentary on the wreckage of America's reputation as a result of the Bush/Cheney lies. I'll post the video in the morning if it's up. But it turns out we were right all along. I posted earlier this week about how Halliburton and Shell oil had been given the rights to develop the Iraq oil field. And now the parade truly begins
But as the troops move out, the oil companies are moving in. According to a July report from the U.S. government’s Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, oil production in Iraq is currently about 2.4 million barrels per day. The goal, by 2017 is to produce 12 million barrels per day. That’s quite a leap, especially since average production levels have held steady for more than two years. It’s going to a take a lot of investment to expand production by 10 million barrels per day.
How much? That’s anybody’s guess. For example, in January, ExxonMobil signed an agreement to redevelop and expand an oil field in southern Iraq. A company spokeswoman says that “total field capital expenditure will depend on full project scope,” which is currently being examined.
There’s a pile of oil money pouring into Iraq right now. Since last year, the Iraqi government has awarded 11 development deals to various consortia. BP and China National Petroleum Corp. are developing the enormous Rumaila field, which has a total proven reserves of about 18 billion barrels. Other companies winning awards include Royal Dutch Shell (working with ExxonMobil on one project and Malaysia’s Petronas on another), France’s Total SpA, Angola’s Sonangol, Italy’s Eni SpA, Russia’s Lukoil and China National Offshore Oil Corp. The signature bonuses to be paid by the consortia are anywhere from $100 million to $500 million.
More investment is on the way. Iraq’s oil ministry is planning to build four new refineries that will nearly double the country’s refining capacity. Oil services firms like Weatherford International and Schlumberger are expanding their operations in the country. Earlier this month Halliburton won a deal to drill 15 wells in the Basra province in southern Iraq, though the financial terms have not been disclosed.
If development goes as planned, rebuilding Iraq’s oil sector could be a highly profitable investment for these companies over the long-term. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Iraq has the third largest proven oil reserves in the world (after Saudia Arabia and Canada). In 2008, oil exports accounted for nearly 90% of the country’s revenues.
Go take a look at "Faces of the Fallen"
over at Washington Post. Go look at those faces of sons, brothers, lovers, husbands, fathers, wives, sisters, and friends whose blood was spilled because the Bush family not only regards the entire country as their own little fiefdom to be plundered for the benefit of themselves and their friends, they regard the entire WORLD as their own little fiefdom to be plundered for the benefit of themselves and their friends.
These young Americans died so that Dick Cheney can stuff more cash into his pocket in an attempt to fill the black hole that he has inside him where most of us have souls. These young Americans died so that George W. Bush could finally feel like a man. These young Americans died so that oil executives everywhere could buy a few more Maseratis, another mansion, more diamonds for their trophy wives.
We honor the service of these young Americans. We grieve their deaths, and we will carry the burden of our responsibility for them the rest of our lives. These young people trusted their country and they trusted their government. These young people loved their country. They believed in their country. And their country betrayed them. And no amount of revisionist history is ever, ever going to change that.
We should feel no joy tonight; no sense of relief that it's finally over. Because it will never be over. There are still 50,000 American soldiers in Iraq, and tens of thousands more in Afghanistan, trapped in an effort run by aging men who refuse to accept, even after the lessons of Vietnam, that some wars cannot be won and should not be fought. We do this over and over and over and over again. As long as there are small, mean little men who think that sending other people's children to fight somehow makes them bigger, as long as we give these mean little men the power to do so, we are going to be trapped right along with them.
Oh, and in case you want to know what the bottom line of it all is? Here you go
Oh, and President Obama? Your party is still going to get its ass kicked in November anyway.
Rachel and Richard Engel:
Labels: america R.I.P., Bush family, Dick Cheney, FUBAR, Greedy Republican Bastards, Iraq War