International: Worldwide oil production ///

Predictions of a calamity in the global upstream sector caused by a meltdown in oil and gas prices failed to materialize. Much of that shaky theory was based on a couple of mistaken notions about Iraq's oil production infrastructure: 1) That wells and surface equipment were in better shape than has proved to be true; and 2) That US E&P personnel on contract to the Army Corps of Engineers could restore output much faster than has occurred since the official war period has ended. Indeed, for much of second-half 2003, Iraqi output lingered anywhere from 250,000 to 500,000 bopd under the level that many industry and political analysts had predicted for the period. Meanwhile, the global economy has shown signs of recovery, so that recent increases in Iraqi output have been absorbed without too much concern.

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