A fuel-price analyst says there’s a danger inherent in the push to attack Saddam Hussein, which has nothing to do with the risk of battle. The DNR’s David Downing points out that even as our gas prices are expected to keep slowly coming down as supplies recover from a slowdown caused by tropical storms, a huge amount of our crude oil comes originally from …Iraq. He says Iraq is a big player, according to Downing, and he says most people don’t realize how many ways it affects us, from the impact on the world market where it’ll increase crude-oil prices if there’s an attack, and our inventory’s down in recent years anyway. He says the OPEC cuts have had an effect and the US supply of crude oil is not overabundant at a time we’re looking at war. Tropical storm Lili two weeks ago sent prices zooming nearly a dime a gallon at stations in Iowa, simply because tankers stayed offshore and refineries shut down production in anticipation of a damaging storm — Downing points out that a U.S. attack on Iraq would have a deeper effect, and go all the way to the source of our supply.He says Iraq puts two and-a-half million barrels of oil on the market every day, and we consume almost two million of that, supplies we’ll have to get from someone else. While the US officially does not buy oil from Iraq, Downing says that middle-eastern nation simply sells it to other intermediary nations, from Russia to South American countries, which re-sell it to US buyers.
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