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The Oil Road: Travels from the Caspian to the City

Overview

Opening in 2006 after ten years in the making, British Petroleum’s $4 billion pipeline, running from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, has become an icon of globalization. Over a thousand miles long, it weaves a route around the Russian and Iranian borders, transporting oil and gas to hungry Western markets.

Bringing to bear a wealth of expertise on their subject, the authors look at the reality behind the pipeline’s gleaming façade. ...

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The Oil Road: Journeys From The Caspian Sea To The City Of London

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Overview

Opening in 2006 after ten years in the making, British Petroleum’s $4 billion pipeline, running from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, has become an icon of globalization. Over a thousand miles long, it weaves a route around the Russian and Iranian borders, transporting oil and gas to hungry Western markets.

Bringing to bear a wealth of expertise on their subject, the authors look at the reality behind the pipeline’s gleaming façade. Traveling along its route, they trace the shadowy forces and institutions behind it, meeting whistle-blowers,
security forces, local villagers and fishermen; in doing so, they expose a story of cracked coatings, new arms races and displaced local communities. They explore, too, the wider forces the pipeline represents, from state repression,
investment banking and energy security, to environmental degradation and social movements. A compelling travelogue, The Oil Road explores the hidden history of an iconic project that is also a metaphor for our age.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Macfarlane
“The Oil Road is an inspiring act of political cartography. It makes chastisingly visible the means by which we blithely consume ‘the geology of elsewhere.’”
Ahdaf Soueif
“As global powers scramble for the last of the world’s diminishing resources, comes this book – well researched and written with empathy, integrity and imagination. It is timely and much needed.”
Suzi Gablik
“This book is so masterful, so authoritatively researched and so elegantly written, that it succeeds in distilling a complex and changing ‘carbon web’ of engineering companies, legal firms, and financiers, into an intimate and engaging personal story.”
From the Publisher
"An elegantly written travel book about a pipeline … A distinctive blend of travelogue, reportage and history."—Financial Times

"Inspirational in the proper sense."—Guardian

"A lovingly crafted narrative, a rich tapestry of first-hand anecdote and historical reconstruction."—Independent

"Elegant … verges on the psychogeographical … The human stories behind the pipeline’s construction."—Literary Review

"Opens the lid on the often-shady energy economy, weaving absorbing travel reportage into powerful investigative journalism."—Time Out Book of the Week

"Seamlessly weaves an engaging personal story into the current geopolitics of oil aggression and the volatile recent history of the region."—Red Pepper

"Part-travelogue, part-reportage, The Oil Road is a powerful … account of how a valuable natural resource can ruin the lives of ordinary people … This is no dry historiography."—Sunday Business Post

"Beautifully written as well as formidably well-informed … A pleasure to read."—Neal Ascherson, Black Sea

"The Oil Road is an inspiring act of political cartography. It makes chastisingly visible the means by which we blithely consume ‘the geology of elsewhere.’"—Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways

"Well researched and written with empathy, integrity and imagination. It is timely and much needed." Ahdaf Soueif, The Map of Love

"This book is so masterful, so authortatively researched and so elegantly written, that it suceeds in distilling a complex and changing ‘Carbon Web’ of engineering companies, legal firms, and financiers, into an intimate and engaging personal story."—Suzi Gablik, Has Modernism Failed

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844676460
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

James Marriott is a part of the award-winning environmental social justice group PLATFORM (platformlondon.org). Artist, writer, activist and PLATFORM co-director, Marriott is the co-author of The Next Gulf: London, Washington and the Oil Conflict in Nigeria. He lives in London.

Mika Minio-Paluello is a part of the award-winning environmental social justice group PLATFORM (platformlondon.org). Minio-Paluello is currently leading PLATFORM’s work on banks, oil and climate change. Minio-Paluello lives in London.

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Table of Contents

Foreword and Acknowledgements ix

Glossary of Abbreviations xiii

Prologue: The Oil City 5

Part I The Wells

1 It Has to Be the Caspian 13

2 You Can See Where the President Gets His Iron Gloves 27

3 They Alone Can Light for Us the Road to the Promised Land 39

4 Lots of Empty Skyscrapers That We Can't Keep Clean 63

Part II The Road

5 The Wide Stream of Oil Gushed Over the Greasy Earth 87

6 If the Pipeline Burns, I'll Burn with It 97

7 Schrader s Instruction Is Paper for the Toilet 111

8 Do You Have Any Books? 119

9 Without Having to Amend Local Laws, We Went Above or Around Them by Using a Treaty 135

10 We Closed It Down to the Media 147

11 We Live in a Corridor of Violence 159

12 It Is Ash to the Eyes 167

13 I Will Stop You, I'll Smash Your Camera! 181

14 No-one Wants this Pipeline on Their CV. It's an Embarrassment 199

15 The Trench Sides Could Collapse On Top of Children 223

16 Don't Sleep - Save Your Sea 233

Part III The Ship

17 Military Forces Sanitise the Area Ahead of the Merchant Ships 249

Part IV The Road

18 They Have Long Arms … Like the Arms of an Octopus 273

19 The Caspian! 287

Part V The Factory

20 This Is the Auschwitz Generation, and There's No Arguing with Them 307

21 A Liquid Distilled from a Fossilised Ecosystem 323

Epilogue: The Oil City 337

Index 355

List of Maps

Map I Overview of the Caspian-Bavaria Route 2

Map II Western Caspian and Azerbaijan 12

Map III Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey 85

Map IV The Mediterranean 246

Map V Italy-Austria-Germany 270

Map VI Ingolstadt 306

Map VII London 336

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