Billions of dollars worth of oil missing in Iraq

One of the many lies the Bush administration used to sell the invasion of Iraq was a claim that the country's oil money would finance major parts of the cost of the war as well as reconstruction.

Never happened as the war has now cost American taxpayers more than $500 billion and a new study shows billions of dollars worth of oil is missing in the civil-war-torn country.

Reports James Glanz of The New York Times:

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, according to a draft American government report.

Using an average of $50 a barrel, the report said the discrepancy was valued at $5 million to $15 million daily.

The report does not give a final conclusion on what happened to the missing fraction of the roughly two million barrels pumped by Iraq each day, but the findings are sure to reinforce longstanding suspicions that smugglers, insurgents and corrupt officials control significant parts of the country’s oil industry.

The report also covered alternative explanations for the billions of dollars worth of discrepancies, including the possibility that Iraq has been consistently overstating its oil production.

Iraq and the State Department, which reports the numbers, have been under relentless pressure to show tangible progress in Iraq by raising production levels, which have languished well below the United States goal of three million barrels a day. Virtually the entire economy of Iraq is dependent on oil revenues.

The draft report, expected to be released within the next week, was prepared by the United States Government Accountability Office with the help of government energy analysts, and was provided to The New York Times by a separate government office that received a review copy. The accountability office declined to provide a copy or to discuss the draft.

Paul Anderson, a spokesman for the office, said only that “we don’t discuss draft reports.”

But a State Department official who works on energy issues said that there were several possible explanations for the discrepancy, including the loss of oil through sabotage of pipelines and inaccurate reporting of production in southern Iraq, where engineers may not properly account for water that is pumped along with oil in the fields there.

“It could also be theft,” the official said, with suspicion falling primarily on Shiite militias in the south. “Crude oil is not as lucrative in the region as refined products, but we’re not ruling that out either.”


  1. bryan mcclellan

    Maybe Gomer left the pumps on at night and Mayberryites all have full tanks.Maybe Goober has a fleet of S.U.V’s.Maybe Opie needs extra lube for his bike chain.The only other explanation could be dick cheney is drinking it.Reasons just as believeable as Mr Andersons litany of crap. He must have gone to the rummy school of bullshit. Another example of over loading the shooting gallery so we cannot aim at the truth.Sad isn’t it???

  2. Sandy Price

    I remember Michael Ruppert’s book called “Crossing the Rubicon” that had a lot of information on Iraq’s peak oil and may have been the reason Bush went in after convincing the people that terrorism was found in Iraq. Maybe he wanted what was left of the Iraqi oil. Maybe it isn’t missing at all.

    Bryan, we will never hear the truth out of the White House or the Congress.

  3. LurkingFromTheLeft

    …Bushie Boy won’t let us see the bodies come back to Dover – the cameras might spot the oil sqirreled away in the cargo holds –

    …and that’s why gas in my part of the world went up six cents again yesterday –


  4. Carl Nemo

    One of our CHB posters made an interesting comment on May 5th about Basrah light crude going to Saudi Arabia and being mixed with Arabian light crude. Ardie if you are monitoring CHB maybe you can enlighten us with a little more background. It makes sense to me that if the Bushistas were going to be involved with something like this it would be done in under some subterfuge such as described by Ardie. It would allow excess payment monies to slip painlessly into the proper accounts with absolutely way of tracking the missing oil. Who knows maybe our military engineers have constructed a clandestine “tactical” pipeline from Iraq across the border into Saudi Arabia?!


    Extract from post by Ardie May 5, 2007 – 5:37pm

    Re: Bush urges action on new war funding bill

    “I understand there is a lot of Basrah light crude going to Saudi Arabia and being mixed with Arabian light so it can’t be detected. By the way, El Presidenté, is this the reason our bases in Iraq are all right next to Iraq’s huge oil reserves (some 526 years worth)? Gosh, who would have guessed that we invaded Iraq just for the oil?”

    Ardie are you monitoring, and if so, maybe you could elaborate a bit more about this possible ongoing scam?

    Nemo **==

  5. Ardie

    Imagine you are in a lab. You have Basrah light and Arabia light, but you also have other kinds of oil you can add to the mixture to get the desired profile. [wink, wink]

  6. Carl Nemo

    I understand what you are saying, but I’m not familiar with international oil shipments and batch certifications. Would someone be monitoring the quality of the oil and matching it to an expected profile once it arrives at the far end to unload. I guess I should assume so. Heavy sulfurated oil would surely be identified as well as the light crude varieties. I’m sure oil from every region on earth has it’s own signature or unique petroleum-based “thumbprint”. Would some agency make an issue that oil was identified as coming from the Basrah fields as opposed to Saudi fields etc.? I’m sure the mixing would be efficacious to pull off a smooth transfer with no questions asked, but again who would be asking these questions about the oils characteristics and pedigree is my question…?! Carl Nemo **==

    p.s. Btw Ardie in the event you are close to this scam do not risk your safety by continuing this dialog. Without proper ISP blocking your terminal location can be identified by those that would care to know.

  7. Carl Nemo

    Kent, it’s interesting you should mention “water wars”. It’s already started with the outsourcing of America’s water treatment facilities and the processing of potable water to offshore interests. It’s happened in many cities and has become a nightmare for the residents. Visualize you have a viable, municipal water treatment facility then your scheming city or county planners come up with the idea to outsource the processing and “control” of your water treatment and supply. It happened to the City of San Jose’ California to the objection of the residents and it’s happening all over America. It’s happening rampantly in Central and South America too.
    We can trace all this quasi-criminal outsourcing to Ronald Reagan and his republican “free-traders”; i.e., free-booting supporters for pushing America into this nightmarish deregulation of utilities with the final coup de grace of the outright selling America’s infrastructure to foreigner’s with enough dough! That’s why we witness the corporate criminal element being involved with the Enron debacle, the Qwest Telecom debacle, WorldCom et. al. There’s actually hundreds of these ugly stories that unraveled across America now a corporatist nightmare… AmeriKa…! Bushco tried to sell our ports to Dubai Ports International. It’s supposedly been liquidated but somehow I’m sure the American people still got screwed. The deregulation of the airlines industry didn’t result in improved service or connections. It turned the airline industry into a cutthroat debacle with many going into bankruptcy. In addition thanks to a possibly engineered 9/11 and the inefficiences of the nightmarish TSA, airports have been turned into an East German, police state boarding experience. People need to get it in their thick heads that anything and everything associated with Republicans and their agenda means “death to America” as we know it. Give them enough time and they’l be metering the air we breath too charging ruinous, un-regulated fees for the breath of life. Think I’m joking, then you best think again.

    Carl Nemo…**==
    p.s. Water rates are soon to rise and they will be a “moonshot” just like our fuel supplies. Get ready!