Peak Oil and the Iraq War

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Eric Lavoie 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #42852 Reply

    Courtenay Barnett

    I was so outraged back in 2003 and later on when the so-called “Downing Street Memorandum” ( compliments of ‘Poodle P.M. Blair to President Bush – was discovered) that I put my thinking cap on about the dynamics of global oil supplies and the real causes of the Iraq war. Took me 3 years of research and thinking before I published ( but I still think that I did not get it wholly right): –

    Oil, conflict and the future of global energy supplies

    In 2006 the article was first published; I was invited to give a public lecture on it and a ‘Dr. somebody or the other’ from the US State Department was in attendance. During the question and answer session he asked 8 out of the 10 questions coming from the audience. He was technical and astutely avoided any overt questions on the politics of the Iraq invasion and/or the obvious violation of International Law. But, my real point of doubt presently arises as follows:-

    1. Is the ‘peak oil’ theory accurate by reference to the term ‘fossil’ fuel’: or

    2. Is global oil supply actually coming from a deep place of supply ‘well’ ( pun intended) beneath the Earth’s surface – which is being constantly replenished?

    The questions are important and are more directed to scientists and geologists who may be on this thread – or – to any suitably qualified person who can proffer a credible answer. I am not so qualified; hence, both my doubt and belated questioning of myself and my actual level of accurate understanding.

  • #42873 Reply


    Hi Craig. I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve read extensively around the issue of peak oil and resource depletion over the last decade or so. The “abiotic oil” theory (that’s the deep self replenishing stuff you write about above) is, to the best of my knowledge considered crackpot pseudoscience by most petrogeologists.

    The best source of information I’ve found on this issue is Richard Heingberg. He’s been writing well researched, coherent books and essays about it for a long time. He has a website here: His book, The Party’s Over (2003) details how the issue was viewed back around the time you’re talking about.

  • #42892 Reply


    Courtenay, the mainstream view is that oil is indeed a fossil fuel, and not being replenished. This apparently fits with many branches of science. Peak production and the Huppert production curve has been well established empirically; lower 48 US states’ production peaked in the mid 1970s, and North Sea production peaked around 1999, as predicted geologically.

    The abiogenic theory was pursued in by scientists in the USSR when they were cut off from the wider world, and its recent popularisation has been almost exclusively by Thomas Gold. A summary can be found here; as always with Wikipedia, follow the citations:

    But for a couple of reasons it might not make much difference:

    * We must not burn even known oil reserves because of global warming.

    * Liquid fuel is still essential to industrial economies, and in particular to military operations, therefore powerful nations will fight over it no matter what its origins.

    It may be worth noting that the countries the US alliance attacks are invariably countries that propose selling oil in currencies other than US dollars. Iraq and Iran both proposed an ‘oil bourse’, Libya was proposing a new currency, the Gold Dinar, and Venezuela was proposing dealing in euro and yen. Try a search on the following term: petrodollar

  • #42893 Reply


    You may also find the following site useful:

    Should it go off-line (as it did once when I wanted it), it is archived at*/

  • #43101 Reply

    Eric Lavoie

    The biggest motivator for US oil isn’t really controversial, in fact, it’s a well known historical lesson. When Germany decided to ship all of its Panzer and Tiger divisions from the Eastern Front to France to meet the invading Americans they did so at great cost to their supplies of oil and refined fuel. By the time they arrived Germany was out of gas. The first push in the Battle of the Bulge ran through American and British troops like they weren’t there and had they not ran out of gas, they likely would have won the war. American military doctrine from that day forward has been 1.) never run out of oil 2.) control the enemies oil supply. From 1980’s Afghanistan to Kuwait to Venezuela right now, same thing. Control China and Russia’s access to oil.

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