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Author Topic: Iraq vs. Kuwait
snopes
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Comment: The rumor is circulating that Iraq invaded Kuwait because, using
American technology, Kuwait was horizontally drilling into Iraqi land to
extract oil.

I am not aware that this technology existed 15 years ago. Is it possible?
Or is it just another in the long list of war for oil rumors?

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Troberg
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Iraq invaded Kuwait because Kuwait, a former Iraqi province, supported both sides in the Iran/Iraq war in such a way as to prolong the war while making big money on it.

The Iraqis, naturally, did not approve of this and demanded compensation. None was given, so the decision to reunite Kuwait with Iraq was made.

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/Troberg

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pinqy
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
Iraq invaded Kuwait because Kuwait, a former Iraqi province, supported both sides in the Iran/Iraq war in such a way as to prolong the war while making big money on it.

The Iraqis, naturally, did not approve of this and demanded compensation. None was given, so the decision to reunite Kuwait with Iraq was made.

Right...except for the part about Kuwait being a former Iraqi province, which it never was, and supporting both sides in the Iran/Iraq war, since Kuwait formally allied with Iraq.

When, in 1961, Kuwait declared independence from Great Britain (not Iraq), Iraq challenged this claiming Kuwait was rightfully part of Iraq, although it never had been.

As for the OP, yes, Iraq did complain about Kuwait slant-drilling into Iraqi claimed territories. Slant-drilling isn't a matter of technology, it's just that when you drill that deep, it's not necessarily going to be strictly vertical. Technology is what helps prevent accidental slant drilling.

pinqy

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Mr. Baggins
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quote:
Originally posted by pinqy:
Right...except for the part about Kuwait being a former Iraqi province, which it never was...

Are you so sure? If you go back to the Ottoman Empire, Babylon, Mesopotamia... I'm sure at some point you'd find Kuwait was a part of Iraq. And before you respond, consider that Israel's claims were some 1900 years old when the arrived in 1948.

I guess what I'm saying is, the Middle East has a very long history, and that's what makes the situation so hairy. It doesn't help to oversimplify just to make a point.

Cheers.

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Jason Threadslayer
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Saddam Hussein did accuse Kuwait of tapping Iraqi oil supplies. The technology to intentionally slant wells dates back to the 1970s or so, although accidental directional wells began the day drilling began.

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Troberg
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quote:
Right...except for the part about Kuwait being a former Iraqi province, which it never was, and supporting both sides in the Iran/Iraq war, since Kuwait formally allied with Iraq.
I'm telling this from the Iraqi wievpoint, which is what's behind their reaoning in this.

Kuwait did, at times support Iraq, but they did also, at times support Iran. I'm not surprised that this pissed off people.

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/Troberg

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xtargeeter
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Slant hole or directional drilling goes back to the early days of oil fields. There were lawsuits concerning that in the 1920's in the East Texas fields. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slant_drilling

See also http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/EE/doe1.html for additional information.

Someone with more experience will chime in here; my geology degree is 25 years out of date.

In the early days, slanted drilling was done by loosening the tie-down cables on one side of the drilling rig and tightening the other. It wasn't very accurate, but it worked at the depths they were dealing with in the 20-30's. Now days, with the drill bit driven by a motor at the drill head, they can control the angle and direction of the drilling much more accurately.

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Friends of Alfred
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Slant, and horizontal drilling was certainly possible at the time. Personally I always felt the Kuwait looked like a nice prospect to Hussain due to its coastline, Iraq having a very small coastline of its own.

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Elkhound
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Actually, the main reason Iraq--and the Ottoman Empire before it--have coveted Kuwait was for Kuwait Bay, the best natural harbor on the Gulf. Basrah, Iraq's main port, situated as it is at the outfall of the Tigris-Euphrates river system, constantly silts and must be dredged frequently. The Ottomans and the Germans wanted Kuwait as the terminus of the old Berlin-to-Bagdhad Railway, which is why Kuwait became a British protectorate. (Kuwait was already a Royal Navy Coaling Station; when the Ottomans were making noises about the B-to-B ending up in Kuwait City, the then Emir sent an urgent cry for help to the Viceroy of India.)

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