China Will Soon Be Drilling A Third Of Iraq’s Oil

Ten years after the invasion of Baghdad, major American oil companies are  staying away from investing in Iraq’s oil resources, McClatchy’s  Sean Cockerham reports.

Instead, many of Iraq’s newest oil fields are now controlled by Chinese.

Iraq possesses the second-largest oil deposit in the world, in the West Qurna  region. Forbes  says the country could easily become the second-largest oil producer in the  world after Saudi Arabia.

Only Exxon and Occidental have active stakes in Iraqi oil fields. The  reason for America’s relative absence, Cockerham writes, is that the country is  still too unstable.

Chinese firms don’t seem  to mind that as much, he says: one third of all future Iraqi oil production  is expected to come from Chinese-owned fields.

There are in fact many U.S. drillers, including Halliburton, operating in the  fields themselves, Cockerham notes.

But folks like Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Suncor are nowhere to be seen.

This does not mean the U.S. is not receiving zero oil from Iraq. We still  import more than 173 million barrels of oil from there a year.

But that’s actually not all that much — about  4.4 percent of our entire import base, according to EIA data.

And that’s down from about ten years ago — once the country’s economy came  back online — when we were taking in 240 million bby.

It’s certainly not the situation many predicted we’d be in in 2013.