Despite then-Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz’ sunny claim that Iraqi oil revenues would pay for the reconstruction of the country we were about to destroy, Iraq’s oil production today is roughly 73% of the amount produced prior to the invasion, and about 79% of the amount produced one year ago.
Iraq’s oil production has fallen below prewar levels to its lowest point in a decade, depriving the country’s fledgling government of badly needed income and preventing the United States from achieving one of its main reconstruction goals.
Iraq’s oil wells, beset by equipment problems and saboteurs, are producing about 1.9 million barrels a day in net production, lower than the 2.6 million they were producing just before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies.
Of the oil produced, about 500,000 barrels are consumed daily by Iraqis, while 1.4 million barrels are exported, CGES says.
The average daily production last year was 2.07 million barrels, according to CGES. This year through August, Iraq has produced an average of 1.86 million barrels, it said.