Litkicks Message Board Archive

Our New Oil! The Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline

Posted to Poetry and Politics

I'm going to talk a little bit more about this new Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline, that they are building in Central Asia (presumably mostly for U.S. oil interests.)The bringing forth of this pipeline, in itself, is environmentally baffling. First off, the area "could" try to restrict environmental regulations, but they've been pussy-footing for fear of "scaring off foreign investors" (presumably for such projects as this pipeline.) So, we're coming into an area that's already an environmental problem.
It's going to (being) built along such places as Baku, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Here's why this is a problem. The oil production is going into an area that is already polluted. (without oil even being produced yet). Outdated water cleaning materials, and the Caspian is already very polluted by stuff like old oil pollution, caviar production, and the old collective farms. So, that's fun. Let's do more oil production. Great idea.
Now, onto politics. Let's note that this pipeline is certainly being built into some politically unheaval-type areas. Starting in Azerbaijan (which has fought with America) and Georgia (who has fought with some other people) and through Turkey (which has fought with the Kurds). And apparently, even though this pipeline bypasses Armenia, the Armenians have fought with the Azerbaijani people in the past, so, anyway, this pipeline is not being built through the most stable politically speaking areas.
Onward, let's check out this situation: who owns the Caspian Sea? Apparently, noone in Central Asia knows this, and there's been little disputes here and there, about it.
Involving Russia and most of the Central Asian states.

How's this pipeline possibly going to impact the environment. Well, oil production can mean leaks or spills could affect the Caspian, or one of twenty rivers, it also crosses a desert that will require ten years of recovery to its area, and it also crosses some forests, and many parks, so could affect natural wildlife & endangered species.
Next up, its affects on society. They say this pipeline will bring jobs. Well, it will bring jobs during production. After that, oh well, I suppose. Farmer's livelihoods will be affected; and they're uncertain about how to compensate any people who may be affected by the pipeline being built near their homes. Apparently, although many people where the pipeline will be built near, need energy resources, but no oil from this pipeline is actually going to go to them. Oh, and roads have been damaged, and no social funds resulting from the project occurred to help any people in relation to this effect of project.
The end result, though, is that this project was to be developed to make the Central Asia/Caspian area more commercially viable, for oil production (mainly, for the U.S., I think, although areas of Central Asian states will get financial shares, or something). Indeed, the U.S. govt. has supported this idea of project, for a long time. And they also think it's good, if the U.S. relies less on oil from the Middle East.
Now, Bush was going to deploy some troops to the Central Asian area, to help the Georgian military protect from the area of potential terrorist threat in the Pankisi Gorge (bordering the Caucasus mountains along the northern Georgian border) area. Some also think that having the military in Central Asia will help prevent dissent, along the pipeline regions.
Although Russia has been involved in disputes with other Central Asian states over "who controls the Caspian" Russia may be looked at as a potential good ally to the U.S., nonetheless.
Financial institutes such as the IMF and the World Bank support the pipeline project.
Govts. and industry in the region supported multiple pipelines, since that means that no one person will get blamed if potentially (environmental) accidents ever happened, or also it means that no one country has complete control over the Caspian region. Places like Turkey and China have wanted to build pipelines across their areas so they could be part of, potentially, this whole deal,( or potential part of a "global market") and region.
Of course, there's been disputes as to where exactly to build the pipeline, such as whether to build it near Russia, or Iran (the U.S. really opposed it being near Iran). There was discussion as to whether to build it through Afghanistan at all, but this was disputed (at least the U.S. disputed it, or so.)
So, at present, this pipeline is certainly being built. Here's where you may get your oil next, kiddies. And, at the very least, does this project especially, help the local people, or the environment, especially, in the long run? Hmm, well, not sure, not really thinking so.
What are we going to do, when all of the oil runs out, kids? What are we going to do?