OPEC faces bigger challenge without Iraq war

The "What if?" game on Iraq and the US dominates oil market scenarios at the moment. As discussed in this space last week, there is ample evidence that conflict in Iraq is all but inevitable amid already tight market fundamentals.But doubts are emerging about the thoroughness of the upcoming inspection regime and the wiggle room that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein may have short of triggering a US-led attack. There have been press reports that Saddam has declared his acquiescence to the return of United Nations weapons inspectors to Iraq to be something of a victory over the US. His rationale, these reports suggest, is that acquiescence under a less-than-rigorous inspection regime is coup...

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