US soldiers transporting Iraqi oil
out of the country
Aljazeera filmed US soldiers driving oil tankers last week out of British-controlled southern Iraq. A US soldier told Mohsen the tankers were heading for Kuwait. Mohsen says the oil shipments continued for more than over 10 consecutive days.
Iraqi oil employees in Basra said storage facilities at the Rumaila oil field, which were full before the war broke out, are now empty. They called for an investigation into the matter.
The employees accused British troops of depleting the storage facilities after occupying the southern city.
British Captain Peter Orlang in Basra said he had no information on the matter.
“I don’t know anything about that,” he said. “How would they take oil reserves?”
British soldiers had called on Iraq oil employees after capturing the city to return to their jobs. Experts had said US-led forces would find it difficult to operate Iraq’s oil fields without local expertise.
Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world with 112 billion barrels of proven resources after Saudi Arabia’s 259 billion barrels. These reserves are yet to be fully tapped and some studies place Iraq's unproven reserve at closer to 432 billion barrels.