The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London Hardcover – 10 Sep 2012
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BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Oil Road opens the lid on the often-shady energy economy, weaving absorbing travel reportage into powerful investigative journalism. ... If you want to know why oil matters read this book. --Time Out
Exploring the political, social and environmental impact of the pipeline as they travel its 1,100-mile length and beyond, James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello spin an unexpectedly engaging tale. … A distinctive blend of travelogue, reportage and history…. But the book is more a series of reflections than a polemic or manifesto. Rather than John Pilger or Naomi Klein, the presiding spirit is that of Iain Sinclair. --Financial Times
About the Author
JAMES MARRIOTT and MIKA MINIO-PALUELLO are part of the award-winning environmental social justice group PLATFORM (www.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. Minio-Paluello is currently leading PLATFORM's work on banks, oil and climate change. They live in London.
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Top Customer Reviews
BP's BFC pipeline 'Road' from the Caspian through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean Sea is taken, but with considerable obstruction from vested legal and on the ground interests. They had enforced their position by drawing up contracts taking 40,000 hours of lawyers' time and requiring 17,000 signatures. (This and other methods contrast with the situation of Shell in Nigeria, attempting to operate in a 'democracy' where the president is changed, and people move more freely around the pipeline.)
BP seems to have been treated as something of a small boy by Washington heavies, and accepted to take the lead on the project, with some of the financial risk being taken by the British taxpayer: It is interesting that BP should have mortgaged their Caspian field output for a $2.5bn loan from patriotic RBS. The Turks made a significant contribution by constructing the 1075km in their country for a fixed fee, well below BP's estimated cost. They could then be blamed for both performance and security failures there, insulating BP's treasury. There were explosions and leaks in 2008, and a blowout in the Caspian offshore fields caused by poor cementing, not long before the Gulf of Mexico operational disaster.Read more ›
The whole thing is very much anti-oil however and it does tend to lapse into long rhetoric’s of the evils of the oil industry at times, this combined with the “whimsical” nature of the author to lapse into futurist poetry surprisingly often makes it something of a struggle at times. Overall though the pipeline route remains an engaging subject that shines through in the evocative locations and unique characters that these places have to offer, and the stories they themselves have to share.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is another book about oil extraction from the North Caspian Sea area but I felt it focussed more on one small group travelling rather haphazardly along the pipeline route from... Read morePublished 20 months ago by DGNB
I purchased this as a gift so can't really rate the book. It sounds interesting.Published on 19 July 2014 by Suele