There’s an article that’s been floating around the Internet for the past day or so, originating at DEBKAfile, an Israeli news site, about plans to build pipelines across Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries to avoid the transportation bottleneck of the Straits of Hormuz. If DEBKAfile was uniformly reliable, this would be a very big story to relate. But DEBKA is notorious for getting things wrong, so a small mountain of salt might be required.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with the story, other than that its facts might be wrong. I posted here last Spring on a story in The Washington Post on planning for such pipelines, so the idea is certainly out there. Whether what DEBKA reports is accurate, though, is up for grabs. In any event, take a look at this piece. It does make sense and the cost-estimates seem within the ballpark. The economic motivations are certainly there. The assessment of the political drive, well maybe not so much. That seems more DEBKA-spin, as Trey Campbell at the Empty Quarter blog notes.
Trans-al Qaeda Pipline Update
Ok, so apparently this is whole thing is cominâ€™ from an old Debka article. I shoulda known. In my mind this just proves the bogusness of the whole thing. I especially like the part about how the new Saudi oil security force will protect the pipeline against â€œal Qaeda and Iran.â€ Another gem is how the pipeline will pull Assad away from Tehranâ€¦hah. Anyway, this thing has generated a significant amount internet buzz after the announcement of the new Saudi â€œPetrol Protection Policeâ€. Oh, donâ€™t forget to check out the cute mapâ€¦those Mosadâ€¦err Debka guys spare no expense.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen have launched the vast Trans-Arabia Oil Pipeline project with encouragement from Washington, DEBKA-Net Weekly 313 revealed on Aug. 10, 2007. By crisscrossing Arabia overland, the net of oil pipelines will bypass the Straits of Hormuz at the throat of the Persian Gulf and so remove Gulf oil routes from the lurking threat of Iranian closure.