Thursday, January 17, 2008

Iraqi oil production may be down again

There was much hullabalooing over a month ago when it was reported that November oil production in Iraq, about 2.4 million barrels per day (mbpd), had surpassed that of the end of the Saddam era of about 2.3 mbpd. Some Iraqi sources were claiming nearly 2.5 mbpd for December. Now, Ben Lando at Iraq Oil Report reports that Platt's estimates production fell back to 2.3 mbpd in December, even though apparently OPEC production overall rose in December. Most of the increase in recent months in Iraq has been out of Kirkuk, whose long run status remains disputed between the Kurds and the rest of Iraq. There also remains no oil law in Iraq, although majors like Shell are now negotiating with the central government on developing the Akkas field, and a slew of minors from places like Canada and Norway are cutting deals with the Kurds, who have their own oil law.

BTW, the recent reports of a new reconciliation law with the ex-Baathists, much trumpeted by Bill Kristol and other war hawks, is baloney according to Juan Cole. Baath allies voted against the law, and apparently it will make it easier to fire ex-Baathists from government jobs and keep them out for good. While there may be fewer US deaths in recent months, there remains no success at all on any of the items that the Surge was supposed to achieve by the end of this past year.

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