Amidst all the news of increased violence in Iraq, this week has seen many positive news stories, including a $700-million contract win for Daewoo at the Akkas gas field, and the shares of two oil explorers rebounding strongly.
But staying on energy matters, we cannot escape the continuing problem of reduced oil exports. Sabotage of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, together with technical problems at the Southern ports, are keeping exports 500,000 barrels per day below budget.
That's roughly $50 million in lost revenue every day, $1.55 billion every month, or $18.25 billion over the year -- money that the Iraqi people cannot afford to lose.
Iraq needs a determined effort to solve these problems as a matter of urgency.