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To: cwb

from another poster to me......

"An acquantance of mine with a background in energy business explained to me that:

-Caspian crude is of different type than Persian gulf crude or North Sea crude. It requres different refining technlogy, like one used in former USSR.

-there is much less oil in Caspian basin then generally thought.

-The name of the game is not Caspian oil, but Caspian natural gas. When sold to Pakistan and India, it can be sold at higher prices than on world market. It can also keep them in check.

-China is desperate to get hold of this natural gas via Afgan pipeline. That is what Afgan war prevented.

I found it curious that Milosevic death was for several days the top rated news worldwide, as if nothing more important was going on at that time. Experience tells me it was a merely a filler, to detract attention from the real top story, one related to Iran I guess."

Some links that might give some insight......Also, keep in mind the location of Camp Bondsteel.,3604,438134,00.html

Constanta Trieste A Balkan Pipeline, or Pipe Dream?
Mar 09, 2006


Representatives from Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Romania reached an agreement March 9 to construct the Constanta-Trieste oil pipeline. While the line is perhaps the most competitive and intelligently drawn up of the projects seeking to cross the Balkans, its realization is far from a shoo-in.


Italian Industry Minister Claudio Scajola said March 9 that he and representatives from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Romania have agreed to build the Constanta-Trieste trans-Balkan oil pipeline. Such a line would stretch 870 miles and pump upward of 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude at a cost of $4.6 billion.

Which raises the most important issue in the discussion of any major transnational infrastructure project: cost. Romania is poor, Croatia and Slovenia are minor powers, and few would do much to help Serbia these days. Only the Italians have the wealth or influence to get the line built themselves, and Rome certainly is not going to belly up to the bar for close to $5 billion when only 1 percent of the route's length lies on Italian territory.

The European Union is often put forward as a likely payee, as are institutions such as the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the World Bank. But the question then is: Why would they pay?

The problem with Constanta-Trieste -- indeed, any trans-Balkan oil pipeline -- is that it does not actually link to an oil source, but simply to a port (Constanta) on the Black Sea. Currently any oil exported from the former Soviet Union to the Black Sea has to transit the traffic-choked Turkish Straits before reaching global markets. The Constanta-Trieste line is intended to be not so much a supply line, but a massive bypass pipeline to take the stress off those straits.

In fact, the need for any such line is about to become less, not more, critical. Some Kazakh and nearly all the Azerbaijani oil that has until now traveled across the Black Sea will soon be transported via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline directly to the Mediterranean. Less crude being delivered to the Black Sea in the first place means less traffic in the straits, and therefore, less impetus to bypass them.

"Less" is indeed the watchword. Originally, supermajor Chevron Corp. planned to export all of the oil produced at the Tengiz superfield in Kazakhstan via a pipeline that terminates at the Russian port of Novorossiysk. But cooling Russian-Western relations have made the Russians far less willing to entertain Chevron's desires to expand that line from its current 650,000 bpd to something closer to 1.4 million bpd. Chevron has now decided it will upgrade facilities to ship the crude by tanker across the Caspian to Baku and then into the BTC for shipment around trouble spots like Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Turkish Kurdistan rather than deal with the Russians.

Between BTC diverting crude away from the Black Sea and disputes with Russia, the Black Sea is not about to get as glutted with crude as seemed to be the case as little as two years ago.

But for what it is worth, Constanta-Trieste has the best chances of getting built once compared to other options. Competing lines that just slice through Turkey, connect Bulgaria with Greece or with Albania via Macedonia simply do not make sense. Constanta-Trieste would help knit the most important Balkan states together to the European core, and would terminate at an existing European oil and refining hub already linked into the European transport network. All the others would simply pick up crude in one location and put it down in another where there is minimal usable infrastructure. The other lines would also require the construction of new port facilities, like those already in Trieste.

That means for Constanta-Trieste to leave the realm of snazzy lines on glossy handouts and enter the world of steel pipes and pumping stations, the traffic at the Turkish Straits will have to become so thick that it actually bleeds billions off of the bottom line of oil traders. If oil traders know anything, it is margins, and they will not put an ounce of influence behind a $4.6 billion project until -- not before -- those margins are affected. Even with the most aggressive estimates for Russian and Caspian oil reaching the Black Sea, BTC will see to it that such crowding is not the case for several years.

Copyright 2006 Strategic Forecasting Inc. All rights reserved.

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Articles from Stratfor may not be reproduced in multiple copies, in either print or electronic form, without the express written permission of Strategic Forecasting, Inc. For mass reprint permission or content licensing, please e-mail for more information.

This is the most important and strategically significant development that may alter the geopolitical equation for SE Europe. What it means along general lines is that an alternate route is being prepared to balance the current delivery monopoly of Caspian oil resources via the Turkish pipeline to Ceyhan. Since Turkey played hard ball, under the guise of ecology, to restrict the Russian tanker oil traffic through the Turkish Straits, a countervailing bypass is planned to pick up the slack. A Turkish monkey wrench retort is most certainly not far behind. Paul

11 posted on 09/27/2006 5:46:56 AM PDT by tgambill (I would like to comment.....)
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To: tgambill

Thanks for the info and links.

12 posted on 09/27/2006 7:44:38 AM PDT by cwb (Liberalism is the opiate of the *sses.)
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