Iraqs oil minister believes his nation can produce 10-12 million barrels of oil a day sometime in the next 5 to 10 years. That would be 5 times the 2.2 million barrels Iraq is producing at present. Those 10-12 million barrels represent more oil than either of the two largest oil producers today Russia and Saudi Arabia. can accomplish.
This prognosis would have global ramifications for the price of oil, for the rate of inflation, and potential profits for the oil producers like the Chinese and French who may have the inside track. It would also make up in part for the blow to deep sea drilling after the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico or the fallout from the partial nuclear meltdown in Japan.
This bold message was given to a small group of Americans in a trip organized by the Council on Foreign Relations, according to Robert Rosenkrantz, a 67 year old financier, CEO of Delphi Financial Group and founder of the Intelligence Squared debate series that can be seen on television.
In a private note to friends Rosenkrantz wrote I dont believe this (10-12 million barrels) is credible, but neither is it impossible, and if achieved would make Iraq the worlds largest oil producer and would by itself satisfy around half of projected global increases in demand.
Rosenkrantz doesnt see the opportunity for a huge profit gain for oil majors like Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, Shell or Chevron. Thats because Iraq is asking oil majors to provide technical services for rock bottom fees, but offering minimal incentives to provide the $100 billion plus of capital that will be required.
Rosenkrantz believes the Chinese and the French oil giants will have the inside track.(Elf Acquitaine had the inside track to Saddam Husseins Iraq) But, he disdains the bullish aspects of Iraqs additional oil reserves, since Iraq remains one of the most socialist countries in the world The Iraqui government like socialist governments everywhere, does not begin to understand market incentives.