Who is the biggest winner from the recovery in Iraqi oil production? Denise Natali, a Middle East expert at the National Defense University in Washington, told the New York Times:
“The Chinese are the biggest beneficiary of this post-Saddam oil boom in Iraq … They need energy, and they want to get into the market.”
China already buys about 1.5 million barrels a day from Iraq — nearly half the oil that Iraq produces — and it looks like the front runner to take over Exxon Mobil‘s stake in the giant West Qurna-1 oilfield.
All of which sits very well with Abdul Mahdy al-Ameedi, head of Iraq’s Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD). “We don’t have any problems with [the Chinese],” he said. “They are very cooperative. There’s a big difference, the Chinese companies are state companies, while Exxon or BP or Shell are different.”
Poking fun at the idea that the US really invaded Iraqi to get its oil, Daily Show presenter Jon Stewart quipped:
“Don’t you have to be in a war to win it?“
But regardless of who actually wins the contracts, the increasing supply of oil from Iraq is helping to take the pressure off world oil supply, and the impact of that is felt around the globe.