Maybe those people who gave the green light to invade Iraq really did have a crystal ball. Maybe five years ago they could have foreseen record energy prices and a frenzy about oil supply and demand.

Because amidst all the panic about dwindling supply, one country has actually increased production. Iraq has raised oil exports to a post-war high, its oil minister has conceeded. In an interview with Reuters, Hussein al-Shahristani said he expects oil revenue to reach $70 billion this year if crude prices stay high and output flows remain stable.

“In May, we have exceeded for the first time 2 million barrels-per-day (bpd) as an export rate,” Shahristani said. “This is mainly because of the improved security along northern pipelines from Kirkuk (oilfields) to the Turkish border and also from increased production from our southern and northern fields.”

Iraqi oilfields are pumping more than 2.5 million bpd, he said, the highest since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Iraq will produce up to 2.9 million bpd by the end of 2008, he said.

Maybe Iraq was about oil all along…