Who Should Move to Fix Possible Iraq Pipeline Collapse: Iraq, the U.S., or Iran?


Financial Times correspondents Daniel Dombey and Carola Hoyos have an interesting alert in today’s paper. They write:

Pipelines vital to Iraq’s oil industry are in such poor condition they could rupture at any time, choking off the supply of oil from the region and devastating the country’s economy, according to the US State Department.
A previously undisclosed notification to the US Congress, obtained by the Financial Times, says the ageing underwater pipelines, which link storage facilities near Basra to offshore tanker fuelling terminals, are in urgent need of back-up or repair. “The likelihood of a worst-case catastrophic failure, subsequent collapse of Iraqi crude oil export revenue resulting in a devastating drop in the Iraqi GDP, global economic market impacts and a possible ecological and environmental disaster should warrant concern,” the document says.

This raises the interesting question of whether Iraq, given its robust surpluses, should be responsbible for pipeline retrofitting — or whether the US should make it a priority?
Or perhaps maybe Iran will swoop to the rescue?
— Steve Clemons


6 comments on “Who Should Move to Fix Possible Iraq Pipeline Collapse: Iraq, the U.S., or Iran?

  1. jhm says:

    If you can’t read the article, the most interesting part was when it
    explained that almost no one believes that the necessary
    improvements can be made within the narrow bit of Iraqi territory
    squeezed between Kuwait and Iran (and this is mostly disputed).
    So, even if the Iraqi government decided to pursue expansions
    needed to fulfill existing promises of production (and such
    production was forthcoming), they need to get an oil law passed
    so that they can both fund the program, and get together with it’s
    neighbors and solve territorial disputes.


  2. Baghdad's Kassakhoon says:

    The Iraqi government must pay…no the U.S. “liberators”…no no it’s Iran….OK then the oil giants…
    Whoever who will pay for it, the benefit will not go to the Iraqis who have no electricity, no infrastructure, no functional health system….


  3. Mr.Murder says:

    Americans have more personal debt and net deficit debt than they earn in a year.
    When the return yield flips past revenues, watch out. It could do so already when accounting record personal debt(over ten thousand each) alongside the personal total owed per capita(over 33 thousand each) we can be assumed to have flipped the conversion yield.
    Not to mention the present GDP accounting is Wal-Mart-ized to new extent and hides the fact we are losing record ground there. The trade deficit still reflects much of this value loss as well.
    The lack of personal savings, the item many Americans used to delay this long deep recession, means we have created a grand canyon of inequity that will severely cut demand. The Sept. shopping numbers are no lie.
    Whistle Praise of King George through gold teeth, you soulless greed hounds. Charles Dickens is spinning in his grave. God Bless us, everyone. Often it is asked, is our children learning?
    They’ll pay for this foolish monarch’s reign. The ghost of Christmas futures(née short selling) bellows “Recession!” upon the door of your foreclosure.


  4. JohnH says:

    So now we are supposed to care about Iraqi oil?
    I wish those of you in the political and media elites could keep your threat assessments straight.
    Isn’t the Iraqi Occupation about freedom, democracy and women’s rights?
    Anyway, China has plenty of steel production capacity dedicated to pipeline products. And Iraq has plenty of money to pay for it.
    Not to worry! We can continue to fight bogeymen.


  5. Mr.Murder says:

    This is supposed to be an excuse to spike gas prices back up.
    Wonder when the SEC and FBI will be contacted, along with Interpol. It is a trade and security matter after alll…


  6. Paul Norheim says:

    Perhaps my own country (Norway) should volunteer for the job?
    We have the expertise and the money (from oil). We make a huge
    profit during geopolitical turbulence, wars, marked euphoria and


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