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Archive for the 'Iraq' category

What price Iraq?

This article was published in Middle East Oil & Gas Monitor, 16 October 2012.

The fate of the world economy depends critically on Iraqi oil, according to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) published last week.

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Crawford deal signed in oil, not blood

Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain’s former ambassador to Washington, mused last week that Tony Blair may have reached a secret deal with George Bush to topple Saddam Hussein a full year before the invasion took place.

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Iraqi oil gameshow loses the plot

A shorter version of this article was published in the The Independent on Sunday, 5 July 2009

The auction of Iraqi oil production licences last week was truly historic – not least because it was the first such exercise ever to be broadcast live on television.

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Why Dick changed his mind

By David Strahan

In a widely viewed You Tube clip, taken from a C-Span interview conducted in 1994, Dick Cheney argues persuasively that the United States was right not to topple Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War. He cites the potential disintegration of the country and the risk of American casualties as good reasons for the decision not to take Baghdad. So what was it that changed his mind by the turn of the century? An acute awareness of impending peak oil.

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British energy policy is a dangerous farce

By David Strahan.

A year ago Tony Blair declared in the Energy Review that securing a ‘sustainable, secure and affordable energy supply is one of the principal duties of government’. He was right. But under New Labour energy policy has veered from criminal to farcical. And with the recent reappointment of Malcolm Wicks as Energy Minister that farce is ready to transfer from Whitehall to the West End stage.

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Why BP and Shell are bound to merge

By David Strahan. First published in the The Independent on Sunday, 15 July 2007.

BP and Shell are finally about to merge. That’s if you believe the tittle-tattle in the Square Mile. Of course rumours that the two giant companies might wed are hardly new and have been the stuff of bankers’ fevered imagination for years. But there is now an increasingly compelling case why the two energy groups should be integrated.

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Why Iraq was all about peak oil

By David Strahan. First published in the Guardian, 26 June 2007.

Even as one of the principal architects of the Iraq war washes his hands of the whole bloody mess there is still only a remarkably vague understanding of the real reason behind the invasion.

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Exxon boss calls end of non-OPEC growth by 2010

Big beasts of the oil jungle don’t come much bigger than Rex Tillerson, in London last week to give a speech at Chatham House. Usually at such events the bigger the beast the duller the platitudes, but during questions afterwards the CEO of ExxonMobil made some significant remarks that underscored the tightness of oil supply outlook, and effectively predicted the end of non-OPEC oil production growth by 2010.

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Why the Middle East matters

Letter to Prospect, June 2007.

Edward Luttwak’s argument that the Middle East doesn’t matter (The Middle of Nowhere, Prospect, May 2007) is bunk. While some of his points about the chronic Israel-Palestine problem ring horribly true, his willful denial of the real significance of the wider region, and of Iran in particular, is astonishing. To coin a phrase, it’s the oil, stupid.

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