Newest Iraqi Gusher Could Make Texas Oilman A Billionaire-Bush finally finds the weapons of mass destruction!!!

Newest Iraqi Gusher Could Make Texas Oilman A Billionaire-Bush finally finds the weapons of mass destruction!!!

Newest Iraqi Gusher Could Make Texas Oilman A Billionaire

On Thursday, publicly traded ShaMaran Petroleum announced that a new well drilled into the Atrush exploration block in the Kurdish region of Iraq was tested at a flowrate of more than 42,000 barrels of oil per day.

This is a colossal well, the likes of which hasn’t been seen onshore in the United States in decades. By comparison, most new wells drilled in the Bakken play of North Dakota are lucky to do 1,000 bpd for the first few weeks before quickly falling off.

So who’s celebrating — aside from the Iraqi Kurds, of course, who are set to receive hefty royalties on every barrel recovered?

Well, shares of ShaMaran (TSX Venture:SNM or OMX:SNM) are up 30% today, adding about $100 million to the market cap of the Toronto-listed pipsqueak. But ShaMaran is not the biggest stakeholder in the Atrush finds.

The license for the Atrush block is 80% held by General Exploration Partners (GEP), and 20% by Houston-based Marathon Oil.

GEP is a joint venture, 33.5% owned by ShaMaran Petroleum and 66.5% by Aspect Energy International. That makes Aspect the biggest beneficiary of this find, with a 53% stake in the Atrush block.

Aspect Energy International is a subsidary of Aspect Holdings, which has offices in Austin, Tex. and Denver, Colo. and is controlled by Alex Cranberg.

Cranberg, 57, is best known for being a member of the University of Texas board of regents. He has been in the oil business for at least 20 years now. But there’s not a lot of public information on him. His companies produce oil and gas on the U.S. Gulf Coast as well as in Belize and Hungary. He is said to have a massive library of 3-d seismic data covering 14,000 square miles of the Gulf coast. In 2006 he helped raise $1 billion with Quantum Resources for a fund to invest in producing oil and gas fields. Based on SEC filings, his shares in QR Energy LP appear to be worth more than $300 million. One of Quantum’s portfolio investments, a JV with the Ute Indian tribe of Utah called Ute Energy, has filed to go public. In 2008, a joint venture with private equity giant First Reserve, called Aspect Abundant Shale, sold its holdings in the Barnett shale for $170 million.

But this Kurdish field is in a different realm altogether.

Yet this new well, called Atrush-2, is just one in a string of gushers found in northern Iraq in recent years, and it follows on the success of Atrush-1, about a mile and a half away. That discovery well was tested at 6,400 bpd and indicated “pay zones” of more than 300 feet thick.

In an email response to questions from Forbes, Cranberg wrote that he was not surprised by the success of the new Atrush well, and he believes the two wells communicate, that is, they are tapping the same reservoirs. Cranberg declined to give any estimates of the size of this prize, but the presumption by ShaMaran is that they’re looking at hundreds of millions of barrels.

How fast can Atrush be brought online? “We expect to be a material part of the 1 million barrels/day output capacity that Minister Ashti has targeted for the end of 2014,” wrote Cranberg to Forbes. “We hope to begin longer term production testing over the next 6 months.”


Casualties of the Iraq War

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The table below summarizes various estimates of the Iraqi casualty figures.

Source Casualties Time period
Iraq Family Health Survey 151,000 violent deaths March 2003 to June 2006
Lancet survey 601,027 violent deaths out of 654,965 excess deaths March 2003 to June 2006
Opinion Research Business survey 1,033,000 deaths as a result of the conflict March 2003 to August 2007
Associated Press 110,600 deaths March 2003 to April 2009
Iraq Body Count project 105,052–114,731 civilian deaths as a result of the conflict. Over 162,000 civilian and combatant deaths[1][2] March 2003 to January 2012
WikiLeaks. Classified Iraq war logs[1][3][4][5] 109,032 deaths including 66,081 civilian deaths.[6][7] January 2004 to December 2009

Overview. Death estimates by group

Iraqi Security Forces (aligned with Coalition)

From June 2003, through December 31, 2010, there have been 16,623 Iraqi military and police killed based on several estimates.[33] The Iraq Index of the Brookings Institution keeps a running total of ISF casualties.[34] There is also a breakdown of ISF casualties at the website.[35]

Iraqi insurgents

From June 2003, through September 30, 2011, there have been 26,320 Iraqi insurgents killed based on several estimates.[36]

Media and aid workers

136 journalists and 51 media support workers were killed on duty according to the numbers listed on source pages on February 24, 2009.[37][38][39] 94 aid workers have been killed according to a November 21, 2007, Reuters article.[40][41]

U.S. armed forces

Graph of monthly deaths of U.S. military personnel in Iraq from beginning of war to June 24, 2008.[42]

As of May 29, 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,409 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,928 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom.[43] As a part of Operation New Dawn, which was initiated on September 1, 2010, there were 66 total deaths (including KIA and non-hostile) and 301 WIA. See the references for a breakdown of the wounded, injured, ill, those returned to duty (RTD), those requiring medical air transport, non-hostile-related medical air transports, non-hostile injuries, diseases, or other medical reasons.[43][44][45][46][47]

Coalition deaths by hostile fire

As of 23 October 2011, hostile-fire deaths accounted for 3,777 of the 4,799 total coalition military deaths.[48]

Armed forces of other coalition countries

See Multinational force in Iraq.

As of 24 February 2009, there were 318 deaths from the armed forces of other Coalition nations. 179 UK deaths and 139 deaths from other nations. Breakdown:[44][45][49]


Contractors. At least 1,487 deaths between March 2003 and June 2011 according to the list of private contractor deaths in Iraq. 245 of those are from the U.S.[50][51][52][53][54] Contractors are "Americans, Iraqis and workers from more than three dozen other countries."[55] 10,569 wounded or injured.[50] Contractors "cook meals, do laundry, repair infrastructure, translate documents, analyze intelligence, guard prisoners, protect military convoys, deliver water in the heavily fortified Green Zone and stand sentry at buildings - often highly dangerous duties almost identical to those performed by many U.S. troops."[56] A July 4, 2007, Los Angeles Times article reported 182,000 employees of U.S.-government-funded contractors and subcontractors (118,000 Iraqi, 43,000 other, 21,000 U.S.).[5

Iraq war in figures

A US soldier from the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, carries his bag as he prepares to pull out from Iraq to Kuwait, at Tall Air Base near Nasiriya, on 15 August 2010. All US troops will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011

The US is withdrawing the last of its troops from Iraq, the final phase in the eight-year operation which has cost billions of dollars and many thousands of lives.

The onus of ensuring Iraq's security and rebuilding the devastated country now rests with Iraqi leaders.

Almost every figure related to the war is disputed, with none more keenly debated than the total number of Iraqi deaths. This is a summary of some of the key numbers and the arguments surrounding them.


US troop levels

US troops led the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, in coalition with the UK and other nations.

The numbers of US "boots on the ground" have mostly fluctuated between 100-150,000 apart from the period of the "surge" in 2007.

This was President George W Bush's drive to improve security in the country, especially in the capital Baghdad, by sending in 30,000 extra troops.

UK troop levels in Iraq

  • End of May 2003: 18,000
  • End of May 2004: 8,600
  • End of May 2005: 8,500
  • End of May 2006: 7,200
  • End of May 2007: 5,500
  • End of May 2008: 4,100 (in southern Iraq)
  • End of May 2009: 4,100 (in southern Iraq)
  • End of Jan 2010: 150
  • End of Nov 2011: 44

Source: MoD

Barack Obama made withdrawal from Iraq a key pledge in his presidential election campaign of 2008 and troop numbers have steadily fallen since he took office in January 2009.

On 19 August 2010, the last US combat brigade left the country, leaving behind 50,000 military personnel involved in the transition process.

British forces peaked at 46,000 during the invasion phase and then fell away year on year to 4,100 in May 2009 when the UK formally withdrew from Iraq.

The Royal Navy continued to train the Iraqi Navy until May 2011. The UK's presence in Iraq is now only as part of the Nato Training Mission - Iraq. That includes 44 military personnel, including a contingent at the Iraqi Military Academy.


The US has lost 4,487 service personnel in Iraq since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom on 19 March 2003, according to the latest figures from the US Department of Defense.

US military deaths in the operation in Iraq, Centcom

By 31 August 2010, when the last US combat troops left, 4,421 had been killed, of which 3,492 were killed in action. Almost 32,000 had been wounded in action.

Since then, in what was called Operation New Dawn, 66 have died, of which 38 were killed in action. Three hundred and five have been wounded in action since 1 September 2010.

The UK lost 179 servicemen and women, of which 136 were killed in action.

Other coalition countries account for 139 deaths according to the icasualties website.

While coalition troop fatalities are reasonably well documented, deaths of Iraqi civilians and combatants are more difficult to track because of a lack of reliable official figures. All counts and estimates of Iraqi deaths are highly disputed.

The organisation Iraq Body Count has been collating civilian deaths using cross-checked media reports and other figures such as morgue records.

Iraqi civilian deaths, by month, according to IBC

According to IBC there have been between 97,461 and 106,348 civilian deaths up to July 2010.

The most bloody period for civilian deaths was the month of invasion, March 2003, in which IBC says 3,977 ordinary Iraqis lost their lives. A further 3,437 were killed in April of that year.

The group says the difference between its higher and lower total figures is caused by discrepancies in reports about how many deaths resulted from an incident and whether they were civilians or combatants.

Other reports and surveys have resulted in a wide range of estimates of Iraqi deaths. The UN-backed Iraqi Family Health Survey estimated 151,000 violent deaths in the period March 2003 - June 2006.

Meanwhile, The Lancet journal in 2006 published an estimate of 654,965 excess Iraqi deaths related to the war of which 601,027 were caused by violence.

Both this and the Family Health Survey include deaths of Iraqi combatants as well as civilians.

An unknown number of civilian contractors have also been killed in Iraq. Icasualties publishes what it describes as a partial list with the figure of 467.


The financial scale of the war is another area in which figures vary widely.

The respected and non-partisan Congressional Research Service estimates that the US will have spent almost $802bn (£512.8bn) on funding the war by the end of fiscal year 2011, with $747.6bn (£478bn) already appropriated.

US funding of its operation in Iraq 2003 to 2011

However, Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard's Linda Bilmes put the true cost at $3 trillion (£1.2tn) once additional impacts on the US budget and economy are taken into account.

The UK has funded its part in the conflict from the Treasury Reserve Fund which is extra money on top of the normal Ministry of Defence budget.

Whitehall figures released in June 2010 put the cost of British funding of the Iraq conflict at £9.24bn ($14.32bn), the vast majority of which was for the military but which also included £557m ($861m) in aid.

A summary of how the war was funded was also presented to the UK's Iraq Inquiry in January 2010.


Sectarian violence in the conflict began to grow from early 2005. But the destruction of an important Shia shrine in February 2006 saw attacks between Sunni and Shia militias increase dramatically. This caused many Iraqi families to abandon their homes and move to other areas within the country or to flee abroad.

The International Organization for Migration, IOM, which monitors numbers of displaced families, estimates that in the four years 2006-2010, as many as 1.6 million Iraqis [pdf] were internally displaced, representing 5.5% of the population.

Of that total, nearly 400,000 people had returned by mid 2010, primarily to Baghdad, Diyala, Ninewa, and Anbar provinces, according to the IOM.