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September 07 2013

Syria intervention plans fuelled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concerns | Nafeez Ahmed |…

Syria intervention plans fuelled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concerns | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/aug/30/syria-chemical-attack-war-intervention-oil-gas-energy-pipelines

In 2009 - the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria - Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets - albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.”

Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 - just as Syria’s civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo - and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.

The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a “direct slap in the face” to Qatar’s plans. No wonder Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in a failed attempt to bribe Russia to switch sides, told President Vladmir Putin that “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be “completely” in Saudi Arabia’s hands and will “not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports”, according to diplomatic sources. When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action.

It would seem that contradictory self-serving Saudi and Qatari oil interests are pulling the strings of an equally self-serving oil-focused US policy in Syria, if not the wider region. It is this - the problem of establishing a pliable opposition which the US and its oil allies feel confident will play ball, pipeline-style, in a post-Assad Syria - that will determine the nature of any prospective intervention: not concern for Syrian life.

#Syrie #Russie #Arabie_saoudite #Iran #Europe #Bandar #gazoducs #pipelines

Reposted byiranelection iranelection

August 06 2013

The Winner is TAP : The EU's Failed Policy in the South Caucasus

The Winner is TAP: The EU’s Failed Policy in the South Caucasus

http://www.iai.it/content.asp?langid=2&contentid=962

Between the two competitors for the delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Europe ­ Nabucco West and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) ­ the winner is the latter, a project designed to transport Caspian gas via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy. The EU welcomed the decision of the Shah Deniz consortium. Yet the political objective of the Southern Corridor was to diversify gas supply to Europe and reduce the energy dependence of some EU member states on Russia. With TAP as the winner, it is questionable whether the EU has truly met these goals. As for Azerbaijan, the selection of TAP can be viewed as a commercially sound decision and a political balancing act by Baku to gain access to European markets and to avoid angering the Kremlin. Yet this choice came only after President Alyev failed to convince the EU to take a clearer stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process in exchange for Nabucco West. For its part, the EU has failed to be a credible actor in the region, able to defend its interests by diversifying energy supplies, decreasing the energy dependence of some member states on Russia and contributing to regional security in the South Caucasus.

#énergie #caucase #pipelines #gaz #pétrole #tap

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