Although huge petroleum deposits have long been known in Iraq’s Kurdish north and Shiite south, Iraq has substantially increased its estimates of the amount of oil and natural gas in deposits on Sunni lands, especially in Anbar province.
Iraq has quietly been paying foreign oil companies tens of millions of dollars over the past two years to re- examine old seismic data across the country and retrain Iraqi petroleum engineers.
The development is likely to have a significant political impact: the lack of natural resources in the central and western regions where Sunnis hold sway has fed their disenchantment with the nation they once ruled, notes the International Herald Tribune.
The new studies have increased estimates of the amount of oil in a series of deposits in Sunni territory to the north and east of Baghdad and in a series of deposits that run through western Iraq like beads on a string, and could contain as much as a trillion cubic feet, or .03 trillion cubic meters, of natural gas.
The multi-million dollar question is that will this oil and gas be developed by the Iraqis of by the foreign multi-nationals…