1
2
3
4
5

Could fracking have prevented the Iraq War?

Besides the “weapons of mass destruction” that were supposed to be in Iraq there was another huge motive to get in there. Oil. We were between booms and relying heavily on foreign oil. & who had the cheapest lifting cost? Iraq did.

 

That was in 2003 and an oil shale development program here was just initiated, years out from being the boom we know today. Candidly described in a 2001 report on "energy security" - commissioned by then US Vice-President Dick Cheney - published by the Council on Foreign Relations and the James Baker Institute for Public Policy. It warned of an impending global energy crisis that would increase "US and global vulnerability to disruption", and leave the US facing "unprecedented energy price volatility."

 

The real goal of it all - as Greg Muttitt documented in his book Fuel on the Fire citing declassified Foreign Office files from 2003 onwards - was stabilising global energy supplies as a whole by ensuring the free flow of Iraqi oil to world markets - benefits to US and UK companies constituted an important but secondary goal:

"The most important strategic interest lay in expanding global energy supplies, through foreign investment, in some of the world's largest oil reserves – in particular Iraq. This meshed neatly with the secondary aim of securing contracts for their companies. Note that the strategy documents released here tend to refer to 'British and global energy supplies.' British energy security is to be obtained by there being ample global supplies – it is not about the specific flow."

 

To this end, as Whitehall documents obtained by the Independent show, the US and British sought to privatise Iraqi oil production with a view to allow foreign companies to takeover. Minutes of a meeting held on 12 May 2003 said:

"The future shape of the Iraqi industry will affect oil markets, and the functioning of Opec, in both of which we have a vital interest."

 

A "desirable" outcome for Iraqi's crippled oil industry, officials concluded, is:

"... an oil sector open and attractive to foreign investment, with appropriate arrangements for the exploitation of new fields."

 

So the question is, if we had started fracking earlier, could we have been more dependent on our own oil & not have to secure our supplies elsewhere?

 

Add new comment