CINCINNATI (TDB) -- So much for arguments that increased supply will lower prices at the gas pumps. Republican House members such as Jean Schmidt, Oh-02, contend that opening ANWR and the Florida coast to oil drillers will push down gasoline costs for U.S. motorists. But international petroleum markets largely shrugged off news today that Iraq plans to add nearly 2.4 million barrels a day to global production within five years:
"Exports of 2.11 million bpd currently form the bulk of the war-torn nation's revenues, and the oil ministry is keen to raise capacity over the next five years to 4.5 million bpd. Iraq has crude reserves estimated at 115 billion barrels but it is sorely lacking in high-tech infrastructure following years of crippling UN sanctions after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein."
There's more from AFP about Iraq's efforts to dramatically boost production from its oil fields, the world's third largest after Saudia Arabia and Iraq. While Schmidt and others argue that increased U.S. drilling will help consumers, the evidence from Iraq today seems to suggest that world oil markets are barely influenced by promises of future supply. The news from Iraq appears to have had no affect at all, and gasoline still costs about $4 a gallon.