As Don Rumsfeld once put it about The New Iraq, there are "known unknowns". That's a pretty good picture of the confusion and corruption about just how much oil is being made and sold in The New Iraq. From this link via MetaFilter, the unknown continues to expand:
"Iraq’s oil exports hit another post-invasion low in December and January, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. How do they know? Good question: according to Reuters, production and exports have gone unmetered since the Coalition Provisional Authority took over the country following the 2003 invasion; until new meters are installed, everybody’s just guessing.
Among the best chronicles of the haziness surrounding Iraq’s oil production and exports — and the general pall of corruption that hangs over the country — comes from journalist Ed Harriman, writing in the July, 2005 issue of the London Review of Books. Harriman wrote that in addition to the roughly $9 billion in Iraqi oil funds that vanished without a trace during CPA head Paul Bremer’s reign, the International Advisory and Monitoring Board established to oversee and audit CPA expenditures of Iraqi cash “discovered that Iraqi oil exports were unmetered.”
How long until someone actually starts an accurate accounting, or "metering"? Maybe two years. That's what Rumsefeld would call an "unknown unknown". For now, The New Iraq is paying about $6 billion a year to import oil.
Remember when the war began and we got these details:
Once U.S. troops entered Iraq, special combat teams spread out into the oil fields and occupied key installations. In fact, the very first operation of the war was a commando raid on an offshore loading platform in the Persian Gulf. "Swooping silently out of the Persian Gulf night," an over-stimulated reporter for the New York Times wrote on March 23, "Navy Seals seized two Iraqi oil terminals in bold raids that ended early this morning, overwhelming lightly armed Iraqi guards and claiming a bloodless victory in the battle for Iraq's vast oil empire."