Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Perspective: On This Day In Iraq -- May 8th edition

May 8, 2006: A maintainer walks to secure an Iraqi Air Force C-130E Hercules at New Al Muthana Air Base during a sandstorm. The storm engulfed the Baghdad area and caused near-zero visibility.

May 8, 2002:

US urges stockpiling of fuel as Iraq crisis grows

The United States yesterday urged countries around the world to protect themselves against a sudden rise in petrol prices by stockpiling fuel, amid growing signs that an invasion of Iraq is moving closer.

Washington has begun to fill the underground caverns that hold its strategic petroleum reserves, in the interests of "overall energy security".

Although the American energy secretary, Spencer Abraham, refused to link the move to possible action against Saddam Hussein, it was one of the clearest hints yet that the Bush administration has stepped up military preparations.

A move against Iraq is likely to send the cost of oil soaring, with an immediate impact on prices at the pump. Building up reserves is considered a way of easing the impact.

Read the rest at the Telegraph

May 8, 2003:

US says it has found mobile bio-arms lab

The Pentagon claimed yesterday to have found a mobile biological weapons laboratory in Iraq, and large quantities of documents on Saddam Hussein's development of other weapons.

Stephen Cambone, the Pentagon undersecretary for intelligence, said the trailer, captured 10 days after the end of the war, could not have been used as anything other than a bio-weapons laboratory. But he stopped short of describing it as a "smoking gun".

He conceded that there was no proof that it had actually been used to make biological weapons. Before its capture its surfaces had been cleaned with a "caustic agent" such as ammonia, and it was still being tested for signs of biological agents inside.

But the large trailer, which had been inspected by American and British experts, met the description of biological weapons laboratories provided before the war by an Iraqi defector, who said he had helped to build them.

Read the rest at the Guardian

May 8, 2004:

Oil heads higher, in sight of $40 on supply fears

SINGAPORE, May 6 (Reuters) - U.S. oil prices stayed near 13-year highs on Thursday, edging up towards $40 a barrel as traders remain wary of a possible sabotage attack on oil facilities in the volatile Middle East, home to two-thirds of global reserves.

U.S. gasoline futures also sailed to a new record high despite a bigger-than-forecast rise in American inventories of the fuel as worries lingered that supplies will prove insufficient during the peak demand summer months.

U.S. light crude peaked at $39.78 a barrel during the Asian trading day, the highest level since February 2003, when prices hit $39.99 in the run up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Read the rest at Forbes

May 8, 2005:

Iraq's new oil minister vows to boost output and end shortages

BAGHDAD (AFX) - Iraq's newly-appointed Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum vowed Sunday to focus his efforts on increasing production and end the shortages which have plagued the war-torn country.

'We will work towards increasing production with the aim of reaching previous output levels,' he said shortly after parliament approved six posts needed to complete the government line-up.

Iraq's current oil production hovers around 1.7 mln barrels per day (bpd) and the OPEC member has struggled to return to previous output levels of more than 2 mln bpd due to repeated sabotages by insurgents.

Bahr al-Ulum, who previously held the oil portfolio between September 2003 and June 2004, also stressed that he would strive to put an end to the fuel shortages affecting millions of Iraqis daily.

Read the rest at Forbes

May 8, 2006:

Oil Prices Fall Below $70 a Barrel

Crude-oil prices slipped below $70 a barrel Monday as a stagnating gasoline market temporarily pushed persistent worries about Iran's nuclear ambitions into the background.

Crude futures lost more than $4 a barrel last week after U.S. government data showed an increase in gasoline supplies. But geopolitical concerns, including unrest in Nigeria, violence in Iraq and rising resource nationalism in South America, still underpin oil prices.

The most pressing source of anxiety stems from the possibility that Iran, OPEC's No. 2 producer, could cut supplies because of international pressure to modify its nuclear program.

Read the rest at CBS News