20101004 iraq oil 35
The Iraqi flag flutters during the official opening of the second refinery for crude oil in the Al-Dora refinery complex in Baghdad. - 


BILL RADKE: This morning, Iraq announced there is significantly more oil underneath that country than first thought -- 25 percent more. That would mean Iraq's oil reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia. Will that mean a gush of foreign investment?

We asked Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer to take a look.

NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: For years, embargoes and war kept Iraqis from getting a clear idea of how much oil they were sitting on. Now, underground rock formations are coming into focus, thanks to new computer technology.

David Hackett heads the energy consulting firm, Stillwater Associates.

DAVID HACKETT: Now with today's modern computers they can actually look at it in three dimensions in order to help identify potential oil-producing structures.

OK, you've got oil-producing structures, but the Iraqi government has no structure. In fact, Iraqis haven't been able to form a government since the elections last March. And violence has remained steady. But other oil producing countries are also having problems with violence and politics.

Stephen Schork of the Schork Report says they make Iraq look pretty good to foreign oil companies.

STEPHEN SCHORK: Iraq, especially with attainable oil, certainly makes sense at this point.

Especially if oil prices continue to go up.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.