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The Militarisation of the Eastern Mediterranean: Israel's Stake in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline

Michel Chossudovsky, GlobalResearch.ca

May 23, 2006

​ ​​​​The Anglo-US Military alliance seeks to establish control over Central Asian oil and gas reserves as well as strategic pipeline routes. The most important strategic corridor is the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and gas pipelines dominated by British Petroleum (BP).  This corridor integrates the Caspian Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean.  

Israel is a potential partner in the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which  is also protected by GUAM, a US-NATO sponsored military alliance between Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Moldava. 


Route of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline





For details on th Campaign against the pipeline see http://www.bakuceyhan.org.uk/more_info/bp_pipeline.htm


(Cont).

According to a statement of  Israeli Knesset member Joseph Shagal, the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline would eventually link up with Israeli ports and pipeline routes. On May 16,  Joseph Shagal suggested at a press briefing that Israel's proposed new pipeline from Israelĺs Ashkelon would join the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) main pipeline, 

"Baku oil can be transported to Ashkelon via this new pipeline and to India and the Far East. It is profitable from a financial point of view as well. Natig Aliyev said the project is interesting and he will have talks with the Israeli energy minister concerning this," Shagal said.

In particular, according to Shagal, Ceyhan and the Mediterranean port of Ashkelon are situated only 400 km apart. Oil can be transported to the city in tankers or via specially constructed under-water pipeline. From Ashkelon the oil can be pumped through already existing pipeline to port of Eilat at the Red Sea; and from there it can be transported to India and other Asian countries in tankers. As Shagal informed, Natig Aliyev had invited Israeli Infrastructure Minister to visit traditional Caspian oil exhibition-conference to be held early in June in Baku. The member of Knesset expressed his assurance the invitation would be accepted and realization of the above-mentioned idea would be discussed in detail. REGNUM

In April, Israel and Turkey announced plans for four underwater pipelines "to transport Russian oil and natural gas, with lines to Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon."  Also involved in this project is a pipeline to bring water to Israel.

Turkey and Israel are negotiating the construction of a multi-million-dollar energy and water project that will transport water, electricity, natural gas and oil by pipelines to Israel, with the oil to be sent onward from Israel to the Far East, Antalya Mayor Menderes Turel said this week.

The proposal was confirmed by senior officials in the National Infrastructure Ministry.

"We are talking about a global energy project, which would be a very important engine of peace in the region," Turel said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

Turel, who was here to take part in an International Conference of Mayors held in Jerusalem, said that the grandiose project had received tentative approval from both Turkey and Israel and would greatly enhance an abrogated landmark 2004 proposal to export water to Israel using large tankers, which proved to be prohibitively expensive.

The new Turkish-Israeli proposal under discussion would see the transfer of water, electricity, natural gas and oil to Israel via four underwater pipelines.

"The whole premise is based on the assumption that Turkey is becoming a major hub for energy in the region," said Gabby Levy, the Director of International Relations at the National Infrastructure Ministry.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1145961328841&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The underwater oil pipelines would link up with the main Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as the Tipline.

The Israeli-Turkish project, which links up with the BTC,  also consists in exporting Caspian oil and gas using Israel as a transhipment route through the Red Sea back to to India and the Far East. From a geopolitical standpoint, the Ceyhan-Ashkelon-Eilat corridor would be protected by the Israeli military. It would channel oil back to the Asian markets via the Red Sea. This dramatic rerouting of Central Asian oil and gas via the Eastern Mediterranean inevitably undermines the "direct corridor trading routes" between the producing countries in Central Asia and their South and East Asian trading partners, including India and China.  Ultimately, this design is intended to weaken Russia's role in Central Asia and cut off China from Central Asian oil resources. In this context, the Western military alliance which now includes Israel protects the strategic energy pipeline corridors of the Anglo-American oil companies.

The withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon bears a direct relationship to the consolidation of both land and sea corridors under Israeli military proection. The strategic land corridor extends from the Red Sea port of Eilat, across Israel and through Lebanon and the Syrian Mediterranean coastline to the Eastern coastline of Turkey.   


Eastern Mediterranean

The Eastern Mediterranean is also rich in gas reserves. According to a recent report:

"On the basis of preliminary drilling and seismographic results, Palestinian and Israeli waters in the Mediterranean appear to contain at least 100bn cu metres of gas reserves, divided about 60:40 in the Palestinians ' favour. Almost all of this gas is expected to go to the Israeli market which, by 2015, will probably be consuming at least 12bn cu metres/yr. A small portion (about 0.5bn cu metres/yr) might also be reserved for a new power plant in the Gaza Strip."

(See  http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/19835/19835.htm)

 


:: Article nr. 23503 sent on 24-may-2006 14:29 ECT

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Link: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20060523&articleId=2508



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