BP pipeline; will it survive?
In 2006, in the Science Timeline, we described a pipeline -
Buried underground to avoid the unwelcome attentions of terrorists, slithering through 1,100 miles of mountain ranges and 1,500 waterways to avoid political turmoil, the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline is being called an engineering wonder.
The oil slides through 150,000 pipes, taking about a year to travel from Azerbaijan to its terminal. Built for £2.4 billion by a British Petroleum consortium and 22,000 workers, the pipeline pumps a million barrels of oil a day from the Caspian Basin through Georgia to Turkey and then to the Mediterranean, where the oil is shipped to the European market.
The pipeline has been criticised on environmental grounds. This is always a problem with oil. It does increase the diversification of Europe's energy sources. Regrettably the West is still dependent on oil, and much of Europe's has come from Russia. Russia would like to keep it that way.
So it was no surprise to hear that on Saturday, in Georgia, the Russians may have tried to bomb the pipeline. (The bombing has not been confirmed.) As we noted in another post, the Russian bear has a declining sense of justice and ethics.