BBC News – 2004-12-29 23:01:51
(December 29, 2004) — Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia has given the go ahead for the construction of a $1.2bn oil pipeline that will pass through the Balkan peninsula. The project aims to allow alternative ports for the shipping of Russian and Caspian oil, that normally goes through Turkish ports. It aims to transport 750,000 daily barrels of oil.
The pipeline will be built by the US-registered Albanian Macedonian Bulgarian Oil Corporation (AMBO). The 912km pipeline will run from the Bulgarian port of Burgas, over the Black Sea to the Albanian city of Vlore on the Adriatic coast, crossing Macedonia.
The project was conceived in 1994 but it was delayed because of the lack of political support. By signing the agreement on Tuesday, the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Albania and Macedonia have overcome the problem.
“This is one of the most important infrastructure projects for regional, EU, and Euro-Atlantic integration for the western Balkans,” said Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano.
According to Pat Ferguson, President of AMBO, work on the pipeline will begin in 2005 and it is expected to be ready in three or four years.
He added that the company had already raised about $900m from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) — a US development agency — the Eximbank and Credit Suisse First Boston, among others. The project has also the support of the European Union.
Analysts have said that oil companies like ChevronTexaco, Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum would be happy to find alternative routes to the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits.
© BBC MMIV
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A Cynical Response
from Media Analyst Robert Rodvik
And the heralds came down from above and said:
“You Serbs are committing genocide and have already left 100,000 Albanian bodies in mass graves, therefore we humanitarians must bomb and kill you and destroy your industries and make your independent economy a part of globalized privatized and colonized nirvanna and when we have run the nutmeg revolution to its conclusion you will one day thank us for taking Kosovo out of your sphere and allowing the KLA to destroy dozens of centuries old monasteries and churches because they were merely Orthodox outposts bearing false witness and we have the license to spread the truth and talk in tongues.
“And just because you claimed it was all about an oil route, just as in present day Afghanistan, we assure you it was all on behalf of democracy — as was bestowed to Korea, Vietnam, Guatemala, East Timor, Haiti, Iran and all those other places where we found the need to destroy the villages in order to save them.”
And the heralds thanked Jean Chretien and Paul Martin for helping to spread the word of Big Bill Clinton who was soon enough making the big bucks for travelling the land and giving speeches about freedom and democracy and whatever else he could pull from his hat at short notice.
And soon enough W had taken the reins and felt it necessary to bestow some more democracy upon the ignorant (of democracy) Iraqis – again absolutely nothing to do with oil. And the heralds departed and CNN was satisfied — for the spread of all this democracy was a wonder to behold.