The first Gulf war

Hello good dopers,
If I may re-visit an old subject I have a question about the first Gulf war, to whit:
Saddam Hussein argued that some upstream oil companies based in Kuwait used ‘slant drilling’.
Essentially ‘slant drilling’ means drilling for Oil in you neighbors territory, not straight down but at an angle.
Pleases note I don’t intend this to be a discussion about the Iraqi regime as such but I’m curious about his reasoning,

Having mentioned a to whit, I should add a too woo. Think Owls

From my own experience with directional drilling (Longyear for metals exploration,) you can’t “kick” the line by more than 45 degrees from the mother hole (assuming the latter is perfectly vertical) without risking a twist off or a stuck-up. This, however, has been exceeded often enough so much so that some holes can actually go horizontal from the mother hole. That gives you an idea how far a vertical bore hole can surreptitiously slant in any direction.

The above is in the case of directional drilling starting from a vertical mother hole. Several new holes of different angles and bearing can be made but your drill rig usually requires a downhole motor.

The other kind of “slant” drilling is simply to incline the angle of the hole from the surface. This is a lot easier, as long as your drill rig allows inclined holes. This activity is also easy to spot by someone within sight of the rig.

I haven’t come across any article confirming the Iraqi accusation. I only know that, after Desert Storm, the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border was re-drawn and Iraq lost a number of oil wells, as well as a naval facility. Oil reservoirs that near the border would appear vulnerable to cross-border drilling.

May I revisit another question?

Did Saddam really prepare to attack Saudi Arabia? You know, the whole reason we did Desert Shield.

I’ve read somewhere that Russian satellites didn’t see any buildup. Now that we’ve had time to interrogate leaders and look though documents in Iraq, were they really going to hit Saudi after Kuwait?

A small contingent of Saddam’s forces actually ***did ***briefly cross the border and ‘invade’ Saudi Arabia. There’s night vision video of them doing it and American troops joking to each other that “King Saud is gonna be pissed!” Needless to say they were quickly repelled. Even so I would say no, I don’t think Saddam planned on invading Saudi Arabia from the start, just Kuwait. But he also didn’t plan on the world (i.e. the US) wanting to actually kick him out of Kuwait either, so his plans changed. Remember too that when he did invade Kuwait it was the Saudis themselves who immediately invited the US coalition onto their soil to prevent an invasion.

As to the OP, saying Kuwait was slant drilling was just part of Saddam’s whole propaganda package. He also said that Kuwait was never really a country but was always the “19th province” of Iraq so he wasn’t ‘invading’ anything. Long story short Saddam’s regime was billions in debt to Kuwait from the Iran-Iraq war and he didn’t wanna pay them back…

You’re thinking of the Battle of Khafji which happened on January 29, 1991, 12 days after the war began in an attempt by Iraq to jump start the ground war.

I’m more curious about the more believable allegation that Kuwait dumps oil into the market, lowering prices, and almost ruining Iraq. How so, when Iraq ranks third (I think) to KSA and Iran in terms on reserves in the ME?

Being a big producer meant Iraq lost a lot if the price of oil went down a bit. After the war with Iran, I’d imagine Iraq was very strapped for cash, and having Kuwait keep the oil price down by producing more than the quota would hurt a lot. Wikipedia’s explanationseems as good as any:

Yeah, Iraq was deeply in debt as a result of the war with Iran, and most of this debt was owed to Persian Gulf states that had floated Iraq loans to back them in the war against Iran. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was basically Iraq deciding to repay its loan by robbing the bank. From wiki: