Watching Government: A risky business

The impending possibility that the US may strike Iraq has direct implications for international oil markets.Oil prices could spike by another $10/bbl or more depending on the scope and duration of war.Then again, military action may be swift enough to mean only a minimum impact on prices, experts say. War is an uncertain business, and companies have already prepared themselves for a sudden drop in Iraqi oil exports, US data show. US companies have been voluntarily weaning themselves from Iraqi oil now available under the United Nations oil-for-aid program.Last year the US was Iraq's big- gest customer, taking about half of the country's 1.7 million b/d of exports. But this year th...

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