Back in 2003, the rallying cry of those opposed to a war in Iraq was, "No blood for oil." Ironically, after five years of war, there isn't any oil.
Meanwhile, the price of crude has quadrupled while Iraq's oil output has stayed fixed at a puny 2.2 million barrels a day. (It’s barley, barely seeping, when it should be gushing.)
Just last week, Iraq's deputy prime minister unveiled new data showing that his country is brimming with even more oil than we thought, as much as 350 billion barrels. If the data is accurate, Iraq's oil reserves could be the largest on the planet, sending even the Saudis to second place.
Well then, where is it? Apparently nowhere. While the legislature squabbles over how to divvy up the petrol pie insurgents continue to puncture already fragile pipelines.
So for now, Iraq's treasure sits untapped.
For greater insight Fast Money turns to General Barry McCaffrey, NBC News Military Analyst and a retired 4-star general. Following is a synopsis of the conversation.
What must the Iraqis do to get the oil flowing?
The Iraqis must develop some internal security, says General Barry McCaffrey. And they need a hydro-carbon sharing law as well as provincial elections. If that happens, then oil will come into the markets.
How much longer will that take?
I think 5 years from now Iraq will be a functioning state at peace with its neighbors and oil will be coming out of its pipeline.
Traders how would you play it, today?
I like oil services. Look at Baker Hughes and Halliburton , says Pete Najarian.
If you play oil services make sure to hedge your bet with USO puts, adds Karen Finerman.
Or look at Jacobs Engineering and Flour Corp , says Guy Adami.
Just get long the United States Oil Fund , exclaims Jeff macke.
> Energy Outrage: Ethanol
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Trader disclosure: On May 28, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Macke Owns (INTC), (WMT), (MSFT); Adami Owns (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (AGU), (NUE), (BTU); Najarian Owns (AAPL), (BHI), (BUD), (TSO), (XLF), (HPQ), (ANR), (ENER); Najariain Owns (EXPE) Calls; Najarian Owns (BAC) Puts; Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (AAPL), (AEO), (MSFT), (RL), (SUN), (TSO), (VLO), (WLP); Finerman's Firm Owns SPX Index Puts; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (C) And (C) Leaps; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (HD); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (IWM), (SPY), (BBT)