The importance of Iraqi oil to the US


Dr. Abdul Hay Zallom is the author of “The New Empire of Evil” and “Forewarnings of Globalization”. He was a key player in the formation of three major oil companies in 1959, two of them owned by two OPEC member states. He is also a founder and board chairman of “Zallom and Associates”, an oil industry consultation company.

Though US Secretary of State Collin Powell has repeatedly stressed that oil is not the goal of the US war on Iraq, many observers reiterate that oil remains the major motivation. They point to Iraq’s huge oil reserves and US oil needs as being behind the US decision.
A destroyed Iraqi tank lies gutted as a wellhead burns on the Rumaila oilfield in southern Iraq: Though the US has repeatedly stressed that oil is not the goal of the war on Iraq, many observers reiterate that oil remains the major motivation

Iraq owns 11 per cent of international oil reserves, which accounts for
more than 112 billion barrels of oil. Studies by the US Energy Information Administration put the reserves in excess of 200 billion barrels. An added attraction is that the cost of pumping Iraqi crude is the cheapest worldwide.

The studies show that the world’s demand for oil will reach 112 million barrels per day in the year 2020 and that only six countries namely Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela, will be able to meet that demand. The US is the world’s largest oil consumer. While an US citizen consumes 28 barrels per year, his Chinese counterpart burns only two barrels per year.

Q: Why did the United States decide to disarm Iraq and democratise it while the world is full of similar regimes?

A: The declared reason is to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. International observers and United Nations inspectors have so far indicated that Iraq is clear of such weapons…even the United States knows that Iraq possesses no such weapons…As for the excuse of replacing the current regime with a democratic one, it is not democratic at all to impose a democratic regime with tanks...Besides, the United States is not the world’s most qualified to defend democracy.

Q: What then are US objectives in Iraq?

A: The United States’ real objectives were revealed by Powell to
Congress…when he said that Washington would carry out structural change after occupying Iraq…for us, this structural change, which would primarily depend on oil, would be the establishment of a new empire…Empires do not come into being by coincidence…The Sykes-Picot agreement designed the Arab world according to the interests of the British and the French empires…currently our Arab world is subject to a Bush-Sharon intended empire.

Q: What is the importance of Iraqi oil for the United States?

A: Let me just read to you what “Orbs” Magazine wrote in 1957. Its
editor-in-chief was William Eliot, and after him his student Henry
Kissinger…The magazine wrote that the mission of the United States was to unify the whole world under its leadership…that is to say a worldwide Empire led by the United States and stamped by the American spirit and culture

Q: Was that just speculation or a kind of strategy…?

A: The plan always existed, but the implementation is divided into phases, in accordance with the circumstances.

Q: What is the role of oil in all this?

A: This means that oil is the pillar and the soul of such future empires…

Q: But why Iraqi oil in particular?

A: Because Iraq’s reserves are huge…According to declared figures, Iraq’s reserves are estimated at around 115 billion barrels…which equals the total reserves of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China and the whole non-Middle Eastern Asia…The reserves of all these countries altogether are 116 billion barrels, while Iraq’s alone, as mentioned before are 115 billion barrels…It is worth mentioning here that these quantities of oil are pumped from only 15 out of 74 oilwells.

Q: Does this mean that more than 60 oil wells are not operative or
productive in Iraq?

A: Exactly…the West has repeatedly declined to declare the real reserves of oil in the Arab region because of political reasons…Iraq’s reserves of oil can equal that of Saudi Arabia…As declared in 1996, Saudi oil reserves stood at 115 billion barrels…

Q: Some studies indicate that Iraq may have a reserve of 200 billion barrels.?

A: Iraqi oil reserves may even exceed 200 billion barrels…

Q: Since it is a fact that Iraq’s oil reserves equal those of the United States, Canada, Australia and most of the Asian and European countries put together, does this really consolidate the objectives of war on Iraq?

A: Iraq is a prey and the opportunity should be seized, especially since the United States’ oil reserves stand at just 22 billion barrels.

Q: Some studies point out that by 2007 Washington will stop using its own oil, reserving all production for strategic purposes and that every litre of oil will be imported. Is that true?

A: US oil reserves will be kept only for strategic purposes…

Q: Will these strategic reserves help the United States to maintain its industrial superiority and to enable it to remain the number one industrial power of the world?

A: Strategic reserves mean that the United States will not use its own oil except in cases of emergency.

Q: How do you assess the United States’ future need of oil, if it wants to maintain its industrial growth and to form the empire through which it seeks to dominate the world?

A: Oil for the United States is a matter of life or death…Not only Iraqi
oil…Iraq will only be the first step and will be followed by other
countries…the Middle East and Iran possess 65 per cent of the world’s oil reserves…that may be one of the reasons for picking off Iraq…The US divides oil producing countries into two categories…they call the first category absorber countries, while the second, non-absorber countries…According to the US absorber countries are dangerous because they possess the capability to build modern and powerful states…They include Iraq and Algeria and may now include Saudi Arabia…

Q: These are the most indebted countries in the Arab world. The debt of Algeria, which is categorized as one of the richest oil countries in the Arab world, exceeds 52 billion dollars. Iraq’s debts are far more than that, while Saudi Arabia’s debts, according to its finance minister are 600 billion riyals (US$170 billion). How did this happen?

A: It is not a coincidence that these three major Arab oil producing
countries have joined the club of debtors…there was a fear that these absorber countries might become powerful states…It is worth mentioning here that when the current US administration came to power, it brought an agenda to establish a new US empire to dominate the world.

In October 2001 and after the September 11th attacks, Robert Cooper, an advisor to Blair was transferred to the Foreign Ministry to accomplish a specific mission, polishing the final touches on the project of the future empire …The former British empire is the imperial advisor to the future American empire…In “Prospect” magazine, Cooper explicitly said that “Nation States” had proved their failure after independence…and that all conditions are set for the beginning of a new imperialism with an Anglo-Saxon culture…This is what really happens and Iraq is only a part of a series of plots

Q: America did not import a single barrel of oil before 1970, but now 60 percent of its oil need is imported. How did US oil imports jump from zero to 60 percent in a period of 32 years?

A: The first US trade deficit was caused by its oil imports…before the
1991 Gulf War, the United States used to import 45 per cent of its oil demand. Studies at that time predicted that US oil imports would increase to 60 percent by the end of the 90s and to 100 percent in the years to follow…

Q: Do you mean by the year 2007?

A: Exactly…if a projection was made about the United States’ complete reliance on imported oil, how would then the US trade deficit look?

Q: British Petroleum and the US Energy Information Administration have recently said in a study that the world’s oil production will soar to 112 million barrels per day by 2020, compared to 77 million barrels per day in 1997. What does that mean for the United States?

A: It means that if oil was very important for the United States in the
past, it will be a matter of life or death for it in the future…Oil is the
Arabs’ real weapon of mass destruction…We do not practically benefit from oil…the price of our oil is very low…and does not reflect the real price…

Q: Oil prices in the late 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s stood at $ 40 per barrel, the prices have deteriorated ever since and have sometimes stood at seven or eight dollars per barrel…

A: If the price of oil remained at $ 40 per barrel as you mentioned, Arab wealth would have exceeded 1.5 trillion dollars…Bottling water actually cost between 50 to 60 dollars per barrel…The issue of the price is a matter of national security for the United States…in other words, if a state decides to increase or decrease the price in contradiction to the US interests, Washington would consider that a violation of its national security…

Q: Do you think that the current anti-war positions of France and Germany are linked to the issue of oil?

A: Yes…this is a conflict for profit and not for ideology…the French
ELF-Total has a contract for exploiting 25 per cent of Iraqi oil…