The fighting has however already impacted some of Iraq"s key oil infrastructure, most notably a pipeline that can deliver 600,000 barrels of oil per day from Kirkuk to the city of Ceyhan in Turkey which is damaged and offline.
What the fighting also does is make Western oil companies hesitant to invest capital in Iraq. The IEA estimates that more than $15 billion needs to be invested every year in Iraq in order to generate the anticipated level of production growth. Without at least the appearance of the country moving closer to stability, it seems hard to believe companies will be willing to risk that kind of money.
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The world uses about 90 million barrels per day of oil, so the Iraqis" share of global supplies is only about 4%. Other world producers could make up the difference.
The Chinese buy about 50% of Iraqi oil and are major investors in Iraq. They have outbid and out-negotiated other investors, including the U.S.
In fact, the Chinese have been the main beneficiaries of Gulf War II.