Why, may I ask, must I be subjected to endless babbling about the Strait of Hormuz whenever something happens in Sandland? My life would be so much more peaceful if certain idiots would just BUILD SOME DAMN PIPELINES ALREADY!
Look at this map of North Africa (click to enlarge). See all those pipelines? They go right under the Mediterranean and up to Europe. Fancy that.
Map by Sémhur.
That’s how civilized people do business. Say what you want about Moammar Kadafi, but the green line on the map is the Italian Greenstream gas pipeline which transports Libyan natural gas to Sicily. Nice and neat. No fuss, no muss. No pirates hijacking tankers there.
The red line is the proposed 2,500 mile Trans-Saharan gas pipeline, which will go all the way down to Nigeria. Quite a project, no?
But apparently it is impossible to build pipelines to circumvent the Strait of Hormuz. Funny how that works.
A long time ago, L. Fletcher Prouty said that the Arab-Israeli wars were orchestrated to destroy pipelines, force oil onto ships, and through the Strait of Hormuz. The more precarious the delivery system, the easier it is to stage a crisis and get the price of oil up. Was he right? I don’t know, but you have to admit, the pipelines are rather conspicuous in their absence.
But that wasn’t always the case. Did you know that there was once a pipeline that took Saudi oil up to the Mediterranean coast? The Trans-Arabian Pipeline was the largest in the world at the time, but is now shut down.
When the Israelis captured the section of the pipeline that ran through the Golan Heights in 1967, they allowed it to continue operating. According to Wikipedia, the pipeline was closed down due to bickering between Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria.
What about pipelines across Saudi Arabia to the Red Sea, or down to the Arabian Sea? Here is a story about a giant program to build no less than 5 such pipelines, and train up a Saudi army dedicated to protecting them. What became of it? I don’t know. I spent an hour googling around, but couldn’t find a single word on the subject beyond the original story which was published by DEBKAfile. Not only that, but I couldn’t find the original article on Debka’s site.
Sometimes I get the feeling that Google is hiding information.
With their nuclear reactors melting down, the Japanese need to buy even more oil from the Arabs, just when a Sunni/Shiite religious war is brewing. Pipelines, of course, aren’t invulnerable, but a few extra ones would come in handy right about now, would they not?