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Old 09-10-2008, 04:03 AM
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Default Petroleum Production Postwar

chico20854 08-08-2008, 11:50 PM I'm trying to figure a few things out and want to solicit opinions from you guys.

What do you think is a reasonable estimate of petroleum production in the Persian Gulf region at the beginning of 2001?

Looking at a map of Iran's oil fields (here (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...n_ogdetail.gif) ), the majority of them seem to be along the Iraqi border in the SW and down the Gulf Coast. According to RDF Sourcebook, the area along the Iraqi border and north to Tabriz has been fought over extensively in 1997 and 1998 (plus had been damaged in the Iran-Iraq war).

In additional to the conventional battles in the oilfields, refineries, tanker loading facilities and related infrastructure were targeted by the Soviets by both surface-to-surface missiles and bombers. Granted, there were limited numbers of those (Southern TVD was third priority at best through most of the war) and a lot of attractive targets in the region (huge Saudi refinery complexes, offshore installations in the Gulf, Kuwaiti terminals, etc.), but I'd figure there was still a massive amount of damage.

Finally, geologically, oil wells need to be kept producing at some rate in order to remain useful - they're not like a faucet that can be turned on and off at will, although I don't understand the science behind it. But given that many of the wells will be out of production for some time and the scarcity of oilfield engineers and equipment, I'd figure the crude production would be really low.

So the number I'm bouncing around in my head is 10 percent of prewar crude production, and only two of Iran's nine refineries (two of the 3 smallest) intact. I've got some ideas on how they would be operating, revolving around the French and the large number of western expats working in Saudi Arabia...

Am I way off base in your humble opinions?


pmulcahy 08-09-2008, 11:23 AM My personal opinion is that production from the Middle East (or anywhere else) oil fields won't be as big a problem as distributing the product.


Raellus 08-09-2008, 04:21 PM IMO, 10 percent sounds reasonable. I wouldn't go much higher, though, and I could imagine it being even lower.

Aside from the extensive damage to the drilling, pumping, pipeline, and especially refinery equipment (as well as local and regional transportation infrastructure), another factor that would reduce production is the loss of skilled technicians to operate the surviving (or repair the damaged) machinery. Many would have been killed in attacks. Others may have fled. In Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a lot of the oil field workers (both skilled and unskilled) are foreigners. Many would have at least attempted to return home as the Twilight War heated up.

Since I just finished it, there's a bit in the first couple of chapters of Red Storm Rising about how long it would take to restart production from badly damaged refineries and pipeline systems. You may want to check that out. I don't know how realisitic it is but I'm assuming Clancy and Bond did their homework.


leonpoi 08-09-2008, 05:46 PM The RDF sourcebook has some info:


Although heavily damaged by nuclear and conventional attacks,

a few of the oilfields and refineries in the Middle East still

produce oil. Most is consumed locally, but a trickle is exported

by the various nations who control the oilfields. This trade in

oil is slowing, as attrition reduces the number of ships available.

What remains is now mostly with nations of the Franco-Belgian


Military units receive fuel according to their individual mission

requirements. Fuel is available on the open market (diesel:

$7 per liter, C/C); gas: $12 per liter, S/S). Avgas is reserved

for military use only, but can be had on the black market ($22

per liter, R/R).


They talk about aircraft in RDF so they have fuel for those. I think Russia occupies a lot of the oil fields from taking over the various countries. As the paragraph says, the oil is still mostly being made, it just can't be distributed.


Trailer_Park_Jawa 08-09-2008, 10:47 PM 10% is a reasonable figure. Although I'm not sure there is any way to really back it up. Its just a good round number in a region where there are surviving wells, refineries, etc. It doesn't have to mean each suriving refinery would be running at 10%. Perhaps 2-3 surviving refineries have scooped up all the available workers and scavenged parts from the others keep them running at a high (for 2001) level.

I agree with others that finding workers and engineers who know how to operate, maintain, and repair a refinery would be the long term challenge.

Who is going to make another "doo-hickey mark V" when the last one breaks and the 3 companies that made those parts are no longer in existence?


Brit 08-15-2008, 09:00 AM As a suggestion, have you considered looking at the affects on oil production, movement, etc, during the Iran - Iraq War? (Like this http://www.iranchamber.com/history/i..._iraq_war3.php). It may be some help and the photos could be 'borrowed' to illustrate and history you develop?

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