New York Times Claims Iraq Loses 500 Tankers of Oil Daily

This GAO Report discussed by the New York Times sounds like the Johns Hopkinsian Study of Iraqi oil.

Fill ’em up… Move ’em out…

Tankers wait on the Jordanian side of the Iraq border for their American military escorts to arrive and take them into the war zone. (© Jon Elmer 2005)

The New York Times wrote its usual attack story on the evil Iraqi democracy this week. The latest attack was on the Iraqi oil sector claiming that the government of Iraq is losing between 150-500 tanker tankers of oil each day.
Iraq Slogger has the Iraqi Oil Ministry’s response to these Lancetian claims:

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil on Wednesday rejected a report prepared by the U.S. Government Accountability Office and published by the New York Times about the alleged smuggling of 100,000 to 300,000 barrels of Iraqi crude oil a day, a spokesman for the ministry said, according to Voices of Iraq.

“The report is not based on documents or accurate information, but on incorrect performance information that was published by the mass media away from all sources from the Iraqi Ministry of Oil,” the official spokesman for the ministry, Aasim Jihad, told VOI today.

The report, entitled “Rebuilding Iraq: Integrated Strategic Plan Needed to Help Restore Iraq’s Oil and Electricity Sectors,” was just released this week by the GAO. The New York Times obtained a draft version of the report, which it sourced in its its article on Saturday, leading with the report’s conclusion that “between 100,000 to 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq’s declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling.”

Assuming that between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels of Iraqi oil are smuggled everyday, this process will require from 150-500 vehicles with a capacity of 36 cubic meters each to transport this amount of oil by land, the oil ministry spokesperson said.

This is an extremely large number and is beyond normal capacity, Jihad explained. Such activity would certainly attract the attention of the Iraqi security apparatus, he added.

NASDAQ.com has more on the missing oil claims.

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