Monday, October 13, 2003

America can't make Iraq's black gold flow

"Even during the war, a detailed analysis by Yahya Sadowski, a professor at the American University of Beirut, suggested that repairing wells and pipes in postwar Iraq would cost $1 -billion, that raising oil production to 3,5 million barrels a day would take three years and cost another $8-billion investment, plus $20-billion for repairs to the electrical grid that powers the pumps and refineries. Bringing production up to six million barrels a day would cost a further $30-billion - some say up to $100-billion.

In another words - assuming only $8-billion of the $20 billion can be used on industry - the Bush overall budget of $87-billion that now horrifies the US congress is likely to rise towards $200-billion.

. . .

. The cost of making it flow could produce an economic crisis in the US. And it is this - rather than the daily killing of US soldiers - which lies behind the Bush administration's growing sense of panic. Washington has got its hands on the biggest treasure chest in the world - but it can't open the lid. No wonder they are cooking the books in Baghdad."

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