Saturday, May 12, 2007

Billions in Iraqi Oil Missing

Well of course it's missing. Oil has been pumped into waiting tankers for years and the broken measuring gauges have been left unrepaired.

Read the item below, "A Plea from Baghdad", written by an Iraqi journalist. He laments how there's no oil to be had in the Iraqi capital yet it flows, apparently unregulated, through the pipelines to the port of Basra.

Today's New York Times cites a US government report that notes, "Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq's declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling."

"'That's a staggering amount of oil to lose every month,' said Philip K. Verleger Jr., an independent economist and oil expert. 'But given everything else that's been written about Iraq, it's not a surprise.'

"Mr. Verleger added that if the oil was being smuggled out of Iraq, there would be a ready market for it, particularly in smaller refineries not controlled by large Western companies in places like China, the Caribbean and even small European countries.

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