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It would be irresponsible not to speculate...

... about peak oil, the guarded Iraqi oil ministry, the broken meters, the IPSA pipeline, and the Ghawar field.

Foily? Perhaps. Then again, covertly pumping Iraqi oil to Saudi Arabia to shore up Saudi production is exactly the sort of scam these guys would run. I wonder if there's a precedent for that sort of thing in the Texas fields? Because this sounds like the sort of trick an experienced oil hand would know about.

NOTE Via the bullshit-calling Cannonfire.

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badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

I wouldn't consider this as tin-foilish as a lot of other conspiracy theories - for one thing, it's falsifiable if you can collect enough info.

I think it has the failing of most conspiracy theories, though, and that's that you need more co-operative henchmen to implement it than the typical James Bond villain usually employs (and I believe Saudi Arabia has no extinct volcanoes to accomodate underground lairs, as well). For example, it takes people to run a pipeline, and some of them would know it's working.

I think another problem might be that crude oil is like salad dressing - it comes in a lot of different flavors, and I would think refinieries have to be fine tuned depending on whether the crude comes from the North Sea, West Texas, Saudi Arabia or whereever. Whether Iraqi crude is significantly different from Saudi Arabian crude, I have no idea, but it seems like there'd be enough difference so that someone could tell.

OTOH, if you mix the two and 9 parts are Saudi crude and 1 part is Iraqi, maybe no one would notice.

Submitted by lambert on

Yes, a lot of people would have to be involved. It's like assuming that every building contractor in New York was sworn to silence when the Twin Towers were supposedly wired up. There is that.

But, the article does address the point that the chemical signatures of Iraqi and Saudi oil are different by saying that the Iraqi oil would have been for domestic consumption only, and the Saudi oil thus freed up would have been exported.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

and not everybody involved has to be in on the scam.

Oil field workers don't necessarily know where the stuff they pump ends up.

BTW - I thought Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were all sitting atop the same massive oil field? Wouldn't that oil be virtually indistinguishable?

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“When someone engages in divisive behavior, any resulting division is their responsibility” - Melissa McEwan

Submitted by lambert on

Check out Twilight in the Desert.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

before a Democrat moves into the White House

------------------------------------------------
“When someone engages in divisive behavior, any resulting division is their responsibility” - Melissa McEwan

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

I only skimmed the article.

Like I said, I'd have some questions about the theory, but given that it's testable, and that it also has some explanatory power, and it also conforms to some of my prejudices, I wouldn't reject out of hand the way I would the "controlled demoliton" stuff.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

It hinges on the premise that Iraqi oil can be used to cover up the declining productivity of Saudi oil fields.

Too late for that, everyone already knows.

Oil field production is metered at the well head, then checked and counterchecked all along the pipeline collection, storage and distribution system. Too many eyes are watching and too many interests are involved for any kind of discrepancy to exist for long unnoticed. Back to the drawing board for this one - or better, the wastebasket.

Submitted by lambert on

1. A Google search doesn't prove that "everybody knows," surely? My test for "everybody knows" would be when the Village admits it. They haven't. In fact, the argument is that insiders knew, and hoped to postpone the day of reckoning when everybody knows.

2. Assuming that the production is, in fact, metered at the well head, that's not the point. That's the input side, and as the article points out, the meter is missing on the output side, and has been for years. That's what would enable the diversion.

3. All sides agree that the number of people to be involved is an issue. However, fortunately, that makes the theory testable (as does the operation of the pipeline). This would probably take more than a Google search, though...

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

I'd agree that proof/disproof of the theory hinges on testing it.

I don't necessarily believe (or disbelieve) it, but I am willing to believe that Saudi Arabia is repressive enough and the Iraqi oil fields are both chaotic and corrupt enough that you might be able to keep the lid on even though a few dozen people might be involved. Worked for D-Day; worked for Bletchley Park and Enigma - and most of those people weren't that well paid.

Even the oilfield signature explanation is only a hypothetical, at least in terms of my limited knowledge. I don't know that there isn't some other scheme possible to hide or disguise or ignore the origin of the oil (of course I also think ignorance like mine in this case is what leads to conspiracy theories).

If you saw the recent movie Vantage Point, I thought the best part was at the very end where the news announcer says in the background (almost a throwaway line) "... and the lone assassin was killed".

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Not my test. On matters measurable I'm inclined to look to reputable, widely recognized authorities, but suit yourself. Here's the NY Times in February 2004:

Ever since its rich reserves were discovered more than a half-century ago, Saudi Arabia has pumped the oil needed to keep pace with rising needs, becoming the mainstay of the global energy markets.

But the country's oil fields now are in decline, prompting industry and government officials to raise serious questions about whether the kingdom will be able to satisfy the world's thirst for oil in coming years.

Energy forecasts call for Saudi Arabia to almost double its output in the next decade and after. Oil executives and government officials in the United States and Saudi Arabia, however, say capacity will probably stall near current levels, potentially creating a significant gap in the global energy supply.

Outsiders have not had access to detailed production data from Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, for more than 20 years. But interviews in recent months with experts on Saudi oil fields provided a rare look inside the business and suggested looming problems.

An internal Saudi Aramco plan, the experts said, estimates total production capacity in 2011 at 10.15 million barrels a day, about the current capacity. But to meet expected world demand, the United States Department of Energy's research arm says Saudi Arabia will need to produce 13.6 million barrels a day by 2010 and 19.5 million barrels a day by 2020.

"In the past, the world has counted on Saudi Arabia," one senior Saudi oil executive said. "Now I don't see how long it can be maintained."

I don't have time tonight or tomorrow, probably not this weekend, to haul out all the data that has accumulated over the past decade on Saudi and other oil field production problems, but nobody with a clue thinks that even current production levels are sustainable, much less will there be capacity to meet future demand. Here's a site with lots of charts and graphs that make the case abundantly clear. No amount of jiggering output from one source to another will cover up the gloom and doom.