Since the American-led invasion of 2003, Iraq has become one of the world’s top oil producers, and China is now its biggest customer.

China already buys nearly half the oil that Iraq produces, nearly 1.5 million barrels a day, and is angling for an even bigger share, bidding for a stake now owned by Exxon Mobil in one of Iraq’s largest oil fields…

Before the invasion, Iraq’s oil industry was sputtering, largely walled off from world markets by international sanctions against the government of Saddam Hussein, so his overthrow always carried the promise of renewed access to the country’s immense reserves. Chinese state-owned companies seized the opportunity, pouring more than $2 billion a year and hundreds of workers into Iraq, and just as important, showing a willingness to play by the new Iraqi government’s rules and to accept lower profits to win contracts.

“We lost out,” said Michael Makovsky, a former Defense Department official in the Bush administration who worked on Iraq oil policy. “The Chinese had nothing to do with the war, but from an economic standpoint they are benefiting from it, and our Fifth Fleet and air forces are helping to assure their supply…”

The Iraqi government needs the investment, and oil remains at the heart of its political and economic future. Currently OPEC’s second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi government depends on oil revenues to finance its military and social programs. Iraq estimates that its oil fields, pipelines and refineries need $30 billion in annual investments to reach production targets that will make it one of the world’s premier energy powers for decades to come…

But the kind of investment that is necessary has required contracting the services of foreign oil companies that are not always enthusiastic about Iraq’s nationalistic, tightfisted terms or the unstable security situation that can put employees in danger. Some like Statoil of Norway have left or curtailed their operations.

But the Chinese, frequently as partners with other European companies like BP and Turkish Petroleum, have filled the vacuum. And they have been happy to focus on oil without interfering in other local issues. “The Chinese are very simple people,” said an Iraqi Oil Ministry official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not have permission to speak to the news media. “They are practical people. They don’t have anything to do with politics or religion. They just work and eat and sleep.”

I have to think Dick Cheney didn’t plan it this way.

  1. Fred says:

    Does anyone know what the definition of “commodity” is anymore. The outright economic ignorance that passes for news today is astonishing.

    • Carbon Copy says:

      According to Wikipedia, here’s your definition of a commodity ( :

      In economics, a commodity is a marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs.[1] Economic commodities comprise goods and services.[2]

      There’s plenty more if you care to read it. But it seems to me that “oil” is indeed a produced marketable item since it requires drilling and refining before anyone can use it — not a whole lot different than any other produced good such as wood which has to be harvested and cut, or orange juice which needs to be picked and processed, or even pork bellies (a.k.a. “bacon”).

      So I think I’ll keep using the word commodity when describing oil or nearly anything else traded on/in the commodities market(s). But if you don’t like that word then perhaps you can suggest another?

      • Fred says:

        My argument is not that oil is not a commodity, but that it is. You should have continued that quote and you would have made my point. Fron that same article. . . “The more specific meaning of the term commodity is applied to goods only. It is used to describe a class of goods for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market.” This is the Economics part of the discussion where it does not matter who buys what oil because it all exists to fill a worldwide demand. If China did not buy the oil in Iraq they would have gotten it elsewhere and overall demand does not change; making this whole article look idiotic to anyone understanding economics.

        • bobbo, in Repose says:

          Thats just what I thought you meant. You can add “subtlety” to your list.

          • Fred says:

            As in “I was being too”?

          • bobbo, in Repose says:

            As in: “Does anyone know what the function of “subtlety” is anymore. The outright illiteracy that passes for debate today is astonishing.”

            Add sarcasm and you’ll have a trifecta.

    • spsffan says:

      Thank you!

      I blame the Kardashians. 🙂

      But, it should be noted that, domestic oil production in the USA is up and demand is falling compared to back when Cheney ordered the war on Iraq.

      Meanwhile, China which has little domestic oil has increased its appetite considerably over the same period.

      This should come as no surprise to anyone.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      Bingo. Who do you think the US producers are selling petroleum products to? They are willing to pay more than American consumers.

  2. Rogue says:

    China is buying the oil to mark up the price. Don’t you guys ever learn? If the oil came straight to Western markets, prices would crash. China is just a detour.

    • Carbon Copy says:

      I don’t know about anyone ever learning anything. It seems to me that collectively we’re all so nostalgic for the past that we all want to repeat it!

      Implementing more spending by the government has always been a cornerstone of the Liberal Democrats. Republicans too, but hardly to the same degree since Republicans at least try and pretend to “offset” where they get the increase of money from. Just look at history!

      To the ultra stupid libs like Numb Nuts Nancy (Pelosi), Jackass Joe, and O-Bummer, it’s not even money. Yet their spending somehow means we all pay less particularly when we can outsource our labor “that no American want’s to do.” It’s classic jackass thinking that is currently being called “Obama-nomics”!

      So DUH! Chinese COMMUNISM does seems to fall right in line with the current U.S. administration.

  3. deowll says:

    What did you expect? China has a growing economy and the money to pay for it. They also don’t seem to care about air pollution much less give a bleep about anthropogenic warming that isn’t happening. NOAA says the planet has cooled during the last 10 years which computes because one of the known climate cycles is a sixty year cycle that can explain the cooling of the fifties, later warming, and current cooling all by itself which suggests the role of CO2 in causing climate change is hyperbole. Is it even measurable?

    It’s been a great scam though. The hucksters like Gore have in total made billions as for the chumps that bought into this mess: a fool and their money are soon parted. The con artists are going to take them for everything they have every bleeping time.

    • deegee says:

      “… as for the chumps that bought into this mess: a fool and their money are soon parted …”

      Such as us serfs paying carbon taxes?

      The people should revolt (a lot of them are pretty revolting anyway) and demand their bogus carbon tax moneys paid back with interest. However, the governments would just raise taxes somewhere else to cover the cost of the payback, since it is all our, the people’s, money they are wasting anyway.

    • msbpodcast says:

      You command of the facts seem to be as poor as your knowledge of economics.

      Climate change is responsible for glaciers melting from on pole to another (we have photographic proof of the same areas photographed over the past 50 years and glaciers that were there then are no longer there now.)

      Gore is b>not a billionaire.

      You are an ignorant denialist and have no credibility.

      • deegee says:

        And 13,000 years ago glaciers covered most of the northern hemisphere, then the climate changed, so what.

        Anyone who believes that the earth’s climate is static is a denialist and has no credibility.

        Anyone who believes that the government is somehow justified in charging a carbon tax to somehow fix this “climate change” is a fool.

  4. ECA says:

    And the PREMISE…that OIL would pay for the war??
    A BUSH promise..

    • Carbon Copy says:

      Care to look at health care next?!

      At least “Bush’s war” is a ONE TIME cost that won’t be repeatedly sticking the price tag up the tax payers asses.

      • Cap'n Kangaroo says:

        “Bush’s War” was paid for on borrowed money which we are still paying the interest on. So it just keeps on sucking.

      • Animal Mother says:

        A “one-time cost?” Take a stroll through Walter Reed and tell us it’s a one-time cost, you pathetic ‘bagger.

      • ECA says:

        LETS SEE..
        how many Died in the towers?
        How many Died in the war? wars?? we went to 2 countries. for 2 reasons..
        #1, the guy ran away and hid. he wasnt even there MOSt of that time..10 years.
        #2, WHY did we go there? OIL..even after we embargo’d them into the GROUND and took away MOSt of the money the country was making..we invaded them.

        WHO got paid for all this. THIS was NOT tax payer money, our government COULDNT AFFORD IT.
        we got loans..? because we couldnt goto war??
        NOPE. because we couldnt AFFORD our OWN TECH.
        WHO got PAID with the loans?

        • jpfitz says:

          Who did get paid were the contractors hired to rebuild after destroying Iraq with American made bombs, bullets and blood.

  5. deegee says:

    umm… China owns the USA, so your “parent” country is getting the oil, close enough.

  6. Dallas says:

    The same thing would happen with all the new fracking oil in the US. It will all go to the highest bidder in the world market.

    The Bush lie was that the Iraqi oil would PAY for the war. This didn’t happen because he’s a fucking liar.

    • ± says:

      “The Bush lie was that the Iraqi oil would PAY for the war. This didn’t happen because he’s a fucking liar.”

      Exactly so re Bush.

      But Ovomit foments and advances the constant delays (ultimate cancellation?) of the Canada pipeline together with the new abundance of natural gas going to be allowed to ship off shore. This does two things:

      1) supports the generations of D/R lies that we are going to become energy independent.

      2) makes energy cost more here (and everywhere)

      • Dallas says:

        The Canadian pipeline is meant to transfer filthy, toxic crude across America where many cute white babies live. You association of the pipeline to mean natural gas is intended to lie and deceive.

        Because of that, how can I possibly trust anything you say?

  7. bobbo, in Repose says:

    Worthy of more research, but I glean that Billions of Dollars of investment in infrastructure has been made and more is needed to get this oil to market. Evidently, Western Corporations are not sure this is a good place to build infrastructure but the Chinese have an Energy Monkey on their back as Burning Coal in the home land has its own set of issues.

    Who doesn’t think Iraq is headed towards civil war (again)? Those billions of investment “at risk.”

    History takes a while to play out.

    Its already plane to see that History will show those who got off oil the earliest had the more robust economies.

    “If oil was freely available, we would still need to develop its alternative.”

    Yea, verily!

  8. Grandpa says:

    Why not? We have so much oil we export it. We just don’t need it.

    Our problem isn’t quantity, it’s price.

    • bobbo, in Repose says:

      Excellent review Grandpa. Right on Point. The quibbling tangent would be that its not price or availability but the pollution. Endless debate when a subject has more than one variable.

  9. MikeN says:

    >I have to think Dick Cheney didn’t plan it this way.

    You have to think that because otherwise it would mean you’ve been peddling lies.

    • bobbo, in Repose says:

      Ha, ha. Good One! You MUST BE a very clever liberal activist doing all you clan to make the FERP look as silly as possible.

      Well Done.

  10. Animal Mother says:

    Just another example of stupidity and failure brought to you by the Republican Party.

  11. Greg Allen says:

    China got the oil and Iran got the politics.

    Wow, that war was really not worth it.

  12. Guyver says:

    Probably because Obama spent a lot of our oil money on companies like Solyndra.

    • Dallas says:

      There is no more shock value left in the Solyndra catastrophe. Unless your fracking, there is no point milking this.

      • Guyver says:

        There is no more shock value left in the Solyndra catastrophe. Unless your fracking, there is no point milking this.

        Are you suggesting that the Chinese getting the oil happened overnight outside the timeline of Solyndra?

  13. Econ 101 says:

    Eitard obviously doesn’t understand the concept of fungibility

    • MikeN says:

      You would think liberals would get it considering how much they are a fan of Dilbert, yet none of them do.

      • bobbo, in Repose says:

        You two do realize (I Assume) Eideard is posting news items of current events and contrasting that with what BushCo said as justification for going to War? This post has NOTHING to do with Eideard, nothing to do with liberals.

        I much as I dislike BushtheRetard and his puppet master the Dick Cheney, as well as all the FERP’s, I don’t think “they” thought oil was going to pay for the war for all the obvious reasons.

        So why did they say it?

        ………. because enough people would buy it. Kinda like you two.

        Silly Hoomans.

  14. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    Wasn’t there a Chinese oil company that was going to send thousands of workers into the Iraqi oil fields before the invasion of 2003?

  15. David says:

    We had to let Iraq sell their oil to whoever they want. That’s the free market.

    If we had invaded another country which hadn’t attacked us, to take their oil by force…er, wouldn’t that make us the bad guys?

  16. MikeN says:

    So who got the oil in Libya? Obama would never start a war for oil, right?

    • deowll says:

      Obama won’t even build a pipeline for oil and jobs. No sir. He’s going to try to do what the EU is rapidly deciding was a huge brain fart. Trying to run on highly subsidized “green” energy a cost they are starting to realize they can’t afford. Germany is building 20 coal burning power plants cause cheap energy is needed for industry and it keeps people from freezing to death in the winter.


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