As Petroleum Engineers, we’ve learnt at length about the technique of directional drilling. Also called slant drilling, this is how we can drill into petroleum reservoirs which can’t be reached by drilling straight down. It’s quite simple to understand: suppose you have an oil reservoir 5 kilometres below a city, you might not be able to drill to it from inside the city; getting a permit will be way too expensive. Instead, you’ll get hold of a piece of land outside the city and drill at an angle to reach the reservoir. (For the uninitiated, reservoir is not a tank or anything like that, rather a large amount of rock, deep, deep down, which has oil trapped in its pores).
Now the fun bit. One of the reasons Iraq stated to justify its invasion of Kuwait in the Gulf War was that Kuwait was allegedly slant-drilling into the Iraqi oilfield of Rumaila. So, in retaliation for this invasion of Iraq’s assets under the ground, Saddam Hussein sent his troops to capture whatever Kuwait had above the ground. Of course, global watchdogs like the United Nations condemned the invasion and George H.W. sent his troops to stop the oilfields of Kuwait from slipping out of the hands of the West. Wonder why the United AbomiNations didn’t object to that, though.
As would have been quite likely, the claim of the cross-border slant-drill has never been verified. Saddam Hussein is now dead, and Iraq is overrun by American troops thanks to the Second Gulf War, for which Barack Hussein Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Iran now has a certain Mahmoud Ahmedinejad at its helm, and it seems like the Yanks are interested in the oil west of Iraq too. Where oil flows freely, blood does an imitating act. Fortunately, our desi oil hardly flows.