Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oil pipelines beyond South Ossetia under Russian control?

Last Sunday, it appeared as though the explosive Georgia / Russia conflict was largely confined to South Ossetia. I say that based on both this map by the International Crisis Group:and MSM reporting this past weekend. Furthermore, it appeared as though the nearest gas and oil pipelines serving western Europe were still 10 - 15 miles from the conflict zone... with the nearest pipeline located in the central Georgian city of Gori.

However, as the week progressed, so did Putin's Russia - farther south into Georgia. Within days Russia was occupying Gori - the nearest location of the smaller of two oil pipelines* that cross Georgia.

But the larger of the two pipelines** doesn't travel north to Gori. This Dept of Energy map shows the pipeline turning southwest at Tblisi.

And for the past few days, where has the MSM reported Georgian concern for further Russian encroachment? The capitol city of Tblisi.

So surprising.

But the US has been engaged in a diplomatic effort. And to what avail?

Today the AP's Christopher Torchia is reporting: Russia's foreign minister declared Thursday that the world "can forget about" Georgia's territorial integrity, and officials said Russia targeted military infrastructure and equipment - including radars and patrol boats at a Black Sea naval base and oil hub.

Georgia is a sovereign nation that has (as I understand it) held free and fair elections. So Russia's siege on Gori and Tblisi is 100% wrong. But I'm also convinced that Russia has felt antagonized and disrespected by American foreign policy for several years now.

Ron Paul was right. America should mind it's own business... if for no other reason than the reality that America is already insolvent:

One last note on the pipelines... they're big business. Wikipedia claims that BP is a 30% owner of the $3.9 billion pipeline.

Tim White

* Gori's pipeline is called the Baku - Supsa or "Western Early" pipeline. It handles 100,000 - 200,000 BPD.
** the Baku - Tblisi - Ceyhan pipeline has a ten times larger capacity - 1,000,000+ BPD - than the Baku - Supsa pipeline


Anonymous said...

Look at how things will settle in the end and ask yourself, 'who benefits?' I like to use that technique as a starting point when trying to unravel motivations and mysteries.

In this case, I see a friend of the current administration who made a curious move that resulted in Russian action that will shift the national discussion to cold war-like topics throughout the rest of the election. The republicans will probably benefit from that. They need to keep the dialogue away from the economy.

So, Bush's friend is encouraged to provoke the Russians, with the possibility of perhaps being able to keep the breakaways if it shakes down that way (of course it wouldn't and doesn't) and the Republicans at home get the bump they are looking for from their usual distract them with war bs.

It's business as usual.

Tim White said...

I hadn't taken it to that level. I had just stopped with some (very serious and deadly) retaliation on the part of the Russians.