Oil in Iraq

December 2, 2008 at 11:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 16, 2008

Time for another post from Iraq.
One thing I forgot to mention in the last post was that when I’m out and about all of the kids want to know my name. Cries of “Mister, Mister, what’s your name?” “Mister, Mister, name” and then the kids will proudly point at their chests and say Haider, Achmed, Ali or whatever their name is. Since no Iraqi can seem to say Scrogin properly, I always tell them James or Abu Macen (Father of Macen). They like the Abu Macen but they really like James. For some reason almost every kid I’ve told James too has made the instant leap to James, James Bond and then I get pantomimed fingers with pistols much like the opening credits of the movies, it’s pretty hilarious and I’m sorry I forgot to mention it in the last post.

This next post is about Oil in Iraq.
All of you all experienced the $4.00/gallon or higher gas this summer. I’m actually glad that I didn’t but being here in Iraq it was blatently clear that there is plenty of oil here. Could that have been why we invaded? Nah, we invaded to get rid of a evil despot who had a habit of starting unprovoked wars in an unstable region, and was actively trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction. As a soldier I’m just an instrument of policy, not a policy maker. I just go where I’m told and do what I’m told to do. I’ll let you form your own opinion of why we invaded Iraq. But I digress, so here we go about oil in Basrah.
Basrah is one of two great oil producing regions in Iraq, with the other being the Kirkuk area. The fact that the Basrah region relies heavily on oil production is obvious even in the city where there are more above ground pipelines than there are sewer lines. No that last was not a joke, oil is money so they make sure it gets to where it’s supposed to go, sewage isn’t worth crap so it’s allowed to pool up wherever. (Sorry for the pun but I couldn’t resist.)

This picture was taken about ten miles outside of the city. Yep that’s what you think it is, Black Gold, Texas Tea, Petrol, whatever you call it. The oil is so close to the surface here that it pools up. I’ve seen pools the size of my backyard.
The last two pictures show a couple of refineries flaring off natural gas that they don’t have a means to properly refine and get into the market. The night picture really doesn’t do the actual scene justice. The glow from the fires almost permanently makes the horizon glow like a false dawn or sunset.
Iraq recently signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell Oil to improve it’s refinery capability for natural gas. According to reports I’ve read on the deal Iraqi flares (burns off) over 700 million cubic meters of natural gas A DAY. How many of you use natural gas to cook or heat your home? How much natural gas do you use in a year? Just think how many years worth of natural gas Iraq burns off in a single day. Boggles the mind doesn’t it.
Well I’ll leave you with that thought.

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