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Pratt's Oilgram Article on Enron and Unocal's Respective Pipeline Activities in Turkmenistan
24 November 1998

[Posted 20 September 2004]


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Platt's Oilgram News


November 24, 1998


Platt's Oilgram News, November 24, 1998, Vol. 76, No. 227; Pg. 1, 666 words,  Unocal Quits Study Of Turkmenistan To Turkey Gas Line, Starr Spencer, Cathy Landry, Houston

 Unocal said it has bowed out of a consortium aiming to build the $ 2.9-bil Trans-Caspian Eurasia pipeline to bring gas from Turkmenistan to markets in Turkey, saying its exit came after a "strategic review" of its projects in Central Asia.

 A Unocal spokesman said Nov 23 his company, which for months had led the consortium, sent letters late last week to partners Conoco and private Turkish energy firm KOC "notifying them of our intention to leave the project."

 "We just decided after doing a strategic portfolio review and looking at the region that we would not participate in the project," the spokesman told Platt's. He didn't know how much Unocal has invested to date on the project, but suggested it was "not a significant amount."

 The Trans-Caspian Eurasia line, which the spokesman said remains under feasibility study by the other partners, would deliver gas to southern Turkey and would partially parallel the proposed Baku-Ceyhan route favored by the US. The line could carry up to 1.5-Bcf/d.

 Unocal will continue to work on proposed power ventures with KOC, the spokesman said.

 Unocal has "suspended" activities on, but hasn't withdrawn from the controverisal Central Asia Gas Pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan which also winds through Afghanistan, the spokesman said. This was done "so we can evaluate the project," he said.

 That line, which is competing against Argentina's Bridas, was also the subject of a two-year legal battle in which Bridas claimed Unocal had interfered with development of its line, despite clear indications Afghanistan favored the Bridas project.

 The Unocal spokesman said suspension of activities on that project came after the US bombed of an installation in Afghanistan two months ago, and "was more related to that than anything else." Meanwhile, several other international energy firms are also hammering out a flurry of separate proposals for pipeline routes out of Turkmenistan.

 Shell and Enron, for example, have both finished their respective feasibility studies to route Turkmen gas to or around Turkey.

 A spokesman for Shell, which delivered a plate of pipeline options to the Turkmen government a few weeks ago, said the company is now waiting for recommendations on further action by officials of the Central Asian country.

 Iran route

 Among the options in the study is a route through Iran, the spokesman said-an alternative frowned upon by the US.

 Shell already has a memorandum of understanding with Bulgaria to look at options for piping gas from that country to western Europe, with the option of using Turkish gas "if necessary," he said.

 Once Turkmen and Bulgaria each decide on their respective pipeline routes to Turkey, "Shell would be interested in carrying (its role) further" and participate in building or taking stakes in either of those projects, said the spokesman.

 Similarly, another Shell spokesman said the major has also inked an agreement with Romania that also could make the Eastern European country a transit route for delivery of Turkish gas.

 New study

 The agreement, signed by Shell International Gas, Romanian state gas utility Romgaz and the country's national mineral resource agency, forms the starting point for a feasibility study of the project to move Turkmen and other Caspian gas supplies to Romania and other markets.

 Another Shell spokesman said it was too early to say how much gas would flow or give a timeline for the project. "We are looking for the most optimal route to move Turkmen gas to Europe," the spokesman said.

Enron is working on still another Turkmenistan-Turkey route, planning a $ 2.5-bil line underneath the Caspian Sea which comes ashore in Azerbaijan and crosses Georgia.

 Last week Enron submitted its preliminary proposal to Turkmen officials for the 1,500-mi pipeline, which would take up to three years to construct. The final study is due for submission early in 1999, the company said.

(C) Pratt's Oilgram 1998 * Posted for educational purposes and fair use only

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Further Reading


To read Part 1 of the series on Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11', go to

For Part 2 of this series, go to

Here's a list of some Emperor's Clothes articles relevant to Michael Moore's claim that the US invaded Afghanistan to get an oil pipeline.

* To understand US policy one must first know that the US Establishment lies about its attitude towards Muslim extremism.  They describe it as a purely internal affair, a fanatical distortion of Islam. But at the same time, they covertly foster it! First the British Empire and then the US-led Western Empire have fostered Muslim extremism, supporting the most backward-looking forces among Muslims who use this extremism to maintain their own social-economic status. Does such a policy sound impossibly conspiratorial?  Want some evidence?  Read the article, "Why has USAID been Shipping Muslim Extremist Schoolbooks into Afghanistan...for 20 Years? And why is President Bush hiding it?"

* 'Encircling Russia, not oil, motivates US policy in Afghanistan!'
by Jared Israel

* 'And They Still Haven't Built a Pipeline Through Afghanistan!'
by Jared Israel

* "U.S. Won't Abandon Central Asia... Central Asians, Be Warned..."
Concerning the U.S. Senate Testimony of Undersecretary of State Elizabeth Jones with Comments by Jared Israel

* "The IDLO, Backed by the US and Iran, Planned Islamic Rule for Afghanistan," by Jared Israel.  This was covered by the top wire services but ordinary people did not get to read even the bare bones news because, according to the Lexis-Nexis search engine, none of the English language media published the wire service reports! The facts about this IDLO conference completely contradict the accepted view of the US Establishment's attitude toward Muslim extremism in general and Iran in particular.

Top US Strategist Zginew Brzezinski admits:
* 'Afghan War & Islamism Were Made in Washington'
Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser

* 'Why Washington Wants Afghanistan'
by Jared Israel, Rick Rozoff & Nico Varkevisser


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