The Russia-Georgia war threatens one of the world’s oil arteries

The world’s oil supply chain depends on a small number of key components, many of which are both vulnerable and in zones of conflict.  This obvious to most of us, except the maniacs urging selling off much of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (to get the money, to temporarily depress oil prices, to hurt speculators — for a number of specious reasons).

This week’s news about the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline reminds us why we need a large SPR.

Currently, the pipeline moves almost 850,000 barrels per day and the pipeline is expected to transport 1 million barrels per day (nearly 50 million tons per year) later this year (source).  Current world consumption is aprox 85 million b/day.

A section of the pipeline in Turkey exploded on 5 August.  Probably sabotage, probably by Kurdish separatists.  How long until normal operation resume is not yet been announced.  There are alternative routes, but at lower volumes.

The Russia – Georgia fighting could also stop the flow of oil through the BTC (see Information Dissemination for a good perspective US involvement in these events).  In fact, it already has…

Azerbaijan halts oil exports via Georgia ports: state oil firm“, AFP, 9 August 2008 — Due to the fighting, not a specific incident.

Now there are disputed reports that the pipeline has been attacked by the Russians, but not hit.  Since the target is a visible and vulnerable target, perhaps the Russians were sending a signal.  Perhaps to NATO, warning us to stay out.

Russian jets targeted major oil pipeline”, Reuters, 9 Aug 2008

Russian fighter jets targeted the the major Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline which carries oil to the West from Asia but missed, Georgia’s Economic Development Minister Ekaterina Sharashidze said on Saturday.

“This clearly shows that Russia has not just targeted Georgian economic outlets but international economic outlets in Georgia,” she said at a news briefing.

There have been no independent verifications of Russian jets targeting the BTC pipeline.

Of course, this is just an unconfirmed report from a war zone.

BP unaware of pipeline bombing in Georgia“, AFP, 9 August 2008

Please share your comments by posting below (brief and relevant, please), or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

18 thoughts on “The Russia-Georgia war threatens one of the world’s oil arteries”

  1. The timing of the Georgian offensive in South Ossetia is suspicious. August 8, when Vladimir Putin was away in Beijing for the Olympics opening ceremony.

  2. As I mentioned in the previous post in June Russia will invade the entire eastern Europe and western Europe.nato can’t go to war with Russians because their members army are bunch of wimps they will run away the second the Russians march in. secondly united states of America will not enter in to a conflict with Russia, because it will turn to a nuclear conflict. Three weeks ago, I made a bet for 100000 us dollar with nuriel rubini on his blog that Russia will go to war with NATO and invade the entire Western Europe no reply from nuriel.
    Napoleon lost the war to Russians.
    Hitler lost the war in Russia. The Russian soldiers are as strong as bears. Like previous war, the Russians will rape every woman on their way.

    Hello Russia goodbye NATO.

  3. Many who read this site are likely to distrust both Pravda and Debka as sources of news.
    However both Pravda and Debka claim that the Georgians are being assisted by Israeli military advisors.
    Fabius Maximus replies: Rule One: evaluate the information, then the source. Debkafile stories often give unlikely info, which later is proven wrong. This info, however, seems plausible.

    Israel backs Georgia in Caspian Oil Pipeline Battle with Russia“, Debkafile, 8 August 2008.

  4. There were serious US military provocations on Russia’s border last month, including two major military exercises.

    Operation Immediate Response began July 15. From the USA, 1,000 military servicemen took part in the three week exercise including the United States Army Europe, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Battalion 121 Infantry Regiment Georgian National Guard (Atlanta, Georgia) and 5045th General Support Unit. The US Ambassador H.E. John Tefft outlined the importance of the training, saying: “It is in a spirit of Partnership for Peace, part of the NATO program. Brigadier General William B. Garrett commanded the exercise from American side: “We are conducting this exercise to enhance interoperability with a key coalition partner. Georgia has provided consistent support to ongoing operations in Iraq. Georgia is the third largest force contributor to Operation Iraqi Freedom and that means a lot to the United States.” The Russian Defense Ministry started a military exercise in the nearby North Caucasus region at the same time. Ministry spokesman Yuri Ivanov said the drill had “nothing to do” with the Georgian-U.S. maneuvers.

    Exercise Sea Breeze 2008 involved more than 2,000 service members from 16 countries and was held in the Black Sea and at land-based Ukrainian training facilities, according to EUCOM [US European Command]. “Everyone participating in this exercise should be very proud of the level of interoperability and cooperation that was achieved among the sea, air and land components as well as among nations,” US Navy Captain John Moore, the Sea Breeze deputy commander, said in a statement. Russia’s foreign ministry had said at the start of the exercise however that it saw it as a threat. “The nature of the exercises, the attempts to present them as anti-Russian and the participation of states from outside the region inevitably raise questions and some degree of concern,” it said.

  5. “assisted by Israeli military advisors”

    If the Georgians are being assisted by Israeli military advisors, so what? They are also being assisted by U. S. military advisors.

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    When the pope recently visited the US, Bush admitted he has been running the US according to “Catholic Principles”; has all Catholic advisors and is considering “CONVERTING” to ROMAN CATHOLICISM”. !

    But; read Daniel 11: 45 to find out the final result of the VATICAN attempt to control the world. They wanted to get a foothold right on RUSSIA”S DOORSTEP via GEORGIA but PUTIN beat them to the draw !

  10. The Russians were not peacemakers. Their troops have been in Georgia to annex territory. Putin made the claim he is protecting “Russian” civilians. He waved a magic wand and made all Ossetians russian citizens because he wants this territory to become part of Russia and set up a decapitated Georgian
    puppet state. Putin will use similair tactics in Azerbaijan and the Ukraine.

    However, what if Georgia used the same tactic with Chechnya. Would that be acceptable? I’m sure most Chechnyians would prefer to be part of Georgia not Russia.
    Fabius Maximus replies: In reply to your question, of course not. Georgia neither has nukes nor supplies vital fuel to the EU. Russia does, so their actions in Georgia are just fine with the “community of nations.” Might makes right, as a matter of routine. When it does not, that is an extraordinary event — usually resolved through a war.

  11. Bob van den Eijkhof

    To this day we know Russia is the stronger country military wise, they have put their fear into Georgia by showing just that (entering the country with with an unnecessary abundant force, killing a vast amount civilians and then leaving again like nothing had happened)… hoping this fear will generate respect and future obedience to the Mother country. However and I quote… no, not from the Bible but from a known green midget source saying “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering” I pray the latter will not come to be, for the the day will surely come when Russia has burned its own bridges across the world and when allies are running short.

    As it is today what has happened will be forgotten in the stream of news from the Olympic Games, another thousand or so people have lost their lives due to Russians atempt to set the status que in balance. but in the end of the day we now that ” Fear is the path to the dark side”!

  12. “Napoleon lost the war to Russians. Hitler lost the war in Russia. The Russian soldiers are as strong as bears.”

    .. and Russia was crushed in Afghanistan by mujahidin, backed by Osama and U.S.

    what a world..

  13. The Georgian government did not start the war and did not fire the first shot!

    The Georgian government has been saying since beginning of August 2008 that the situation in South Ossetia is escalating and the Russian “peacekeepers” are staging provocations together with illegal armed forces of South Ossetian separatist regime. They started killing Georgian police officers and firing artillery shells at the Georgian villages located in South Ossetia, but the world was preoccupied with getting ready for the opening ceremony of Beijing 2008 Olympics.

    When the Georgian government officials told the Europeans in Brussels that we were at the brink of war, the Europeans politely warned the Georgians not to use the word “war” in the city of Brussels, because they do not like the word “war.” It seems that old Europe is getting older each day and with the age, because numerous warnings and cries by the Georgian officials fell on the deaf ears of old Europe. Never mind the fact that it took Hitler conquering Poland and Czechoslovakia, before the Western Europe realized this was a war.

    And what about the Americans? The American society is in the midst of elections, the Democrats want to see Europe take more responsibility for security in Caucasus region, the Republicans are divided and worried about gay marriage and abortion rights… The friends of Georgia in new Europe are trying everything to force the old Europe take harsher approach towards Russia, but Europe is dependent on Russian natural gas and oil.

    Giving up on a young democracy does not seem plausible for the Europeans, but the old Europe is scared of the new Russian bear. The new Russia is controlled by a xenophobic psychopath who has decided to break all the rules of the game, in order to change those rules. And the question comes: how can you stop a bully? Everyone can keep condemning the Russian government, but that paper will wind up in Putin’s toilet again… The only way to stop a bully is bully up against the bully – simple rule of life.

    With the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the Russian government has proven the world that they will violate international laws whenever they feel like it and they will use aggression in the name of peace as they did in Prague 1968. If the world would not stand up for Georgia, who will be the next prey of the hungry Russian bear? Maybe Ukraine? Or Moldova? Or who knows… The Russian government is as unpredictable as the weather in England…

    The Georgian people are united and stand united, we have survived the onslaught by Mongols, Persians, Arabs, Turk-Seljuks throughout the history and we have still survived and we are not scared of the Russian bear either.

    Just last question to Mr. Putin. Mr. Putin, if you are so concerned about the freedom of small minorities, why not recognize the independence of Chechnya? Then Daghestan? Then Ingushetia? And then all the other autonomous republics where the citizens do not even speak Russian? Think about that at first and then lets discuss the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, after 300,000 Georgian refugees return to their own homes.

    And to my fellow Abkhazian and South Ossetian brothers and sisters. Yes, there will be dancing and celebration in Sokhumi and Tskinvali, Yes you will be smiling and waving flags – Georgian flags of course….

  14. What the hell is wrong with “THE WORLD”? Russia is stupid if they think that they can continue to do this! Not to put them down, but even if we had a nuclear war… we would DOMINATE*, minus any and all casualties. We are dependent on foreign oil now and will be for several years to come, but for them to try and take advantage of that and of Georgia…get real! We are not the only ones who will unite to destroy them if they continue this stupidity. They are still limping on after the cold war and are acting like a man who is a pre-ejaculator. Let them continue this unjust madness and see where it gets them. Hopefully no more Georgians will be killed/hurt and it can be resolved; even better, Russia will realize that there is no solidity to what they are doing…merely COPYING the middle east in attempts to control a natural resource that is limited and scarce. Russia better wake the fuck up before the US and other allies decides to RECOGNIZE on their ass. AND WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Fabius Maximus replies: I believe that most — almost all — US citizens would recommend putting on immediate medical leave any US senior civilian or military offical recommending an atomic strike at Russia over Georgia — or over anything Russia might likely do in Eastern Europe.

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