Business – Calgary Herald – canada.com

Will Saddam torch his own oil wells if necessary?

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Business – Calgary Herald – canada.com .. A report by the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) noted recently that a second Gulf War would likely be swift and lead to Saddam’s defeat, but Iraq’s urban warfare strategy “could include deliberate efforts to burn oilfields and create water barriers.”

Iraq produces up to 2.8 million barrels per day, although its petroleum industry has been hampered for a dozen years by international sanctions imposed after its invasion of Kuwait.

Well fires could however cause major problems, restricting the ability of soldiers to move through the country and stoking energy prices around the world.

“Iraq’s southern oilfields are between the U.S. military and Baghdad and the presumption is that with an army coming, the fields are in harm’s way,” says Michael Lynch, an energy expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Centre for International Studies.

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