Monday, October 01, 2007

Maybe next year......

I am a Red Sox fan, although far less committed ten years after leaving Boston than I was back then, so I grew up with the hope that maybe next year the Sox could find a way to beat the Yankees, five pitchers could go the season without slicing their hands open while taking out the trash, or blowing out their shoulders, and their amazingly potent left fielder's head is screwed on straight and does not demand and then retract his demands for multiple trades during the season. Next year has always been a beacon of hope that the Japanese import pitcher could dazzle the league with his gyroball, that the rookies would have natural progression towards hoped for stardom, that Nomar's wrist would heal correctly....

And occassionally next year came and met our expectations; it came in 2004 after the entire Red Sox Nation had already muttered 'Maybe next...', and it may come again this year as the Red Sox finally won the AL East, but next year seldom comes as quickly or as well as Red Sox fans want it to be.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) evidently are Red Sox fans or at least use our methodology in projecting future oil production:

The oil output of Iraq and Angola, two members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which are outside the Opec-10, is set to rise over the next two years, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The Paris-based IEA, which advises 26 member countries on energy policy, said the Iraqi export and refining infrastructure can accommodate some 2.4 million barrels per day of production.

"Full reactivation of Iraq's idled domestic refining capacity, together with feasible export potential, could take outlets for Iraqi production into a 3.5 million bpd-4 million bpd range," the IEA noted.... While in July 2007 the Iraqi oil supply hit a three-year peak of 2.18 million bpd, renewed pipeline outages saw output dip in August to 1.97 million bpd.

I do not know enough about Angola to comment intelligently, so I will restrict myself to Iraq. The phyiscal capacity of Iraqi infrastructure may support 3.5 to 4 million barrels per day after significant short term investment. But this is irrelevant if there is not widespread shared political agreement backed by the effective, pervasive social pressure and cohesion to divide up the revenue from oil exports. Oil can only be exported with the consent of all interested parties.

The Sunni Arab population has demonstrated great expertise in denying the Kurds a viable export route for the northern crude oil via the Ceyhan export line, while the three sided scrum in the South will intefere with crude export expansion capacity until there is a clear winning coalition and divide of spoils. JAM, SIIC/Badr, and Fadillah all control veto chokepoints in the southern oil infrastructure and could choose to exercise those vetos if their position weakens too much.

So maybe the IEA is right, but right now their projections rely on the hope that maybe next year is the year the sees stability and a comprehensive political-economic-social-military solution to Iraq....

No comments: