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The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London Hardcover – 10 Sep 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (10 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844676463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844676460
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 656,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is seriously interesting book, not only because of the multitude of fascinating cultural and geographical insights presented by the authors undertaking a modern day equivalent to the journeys Marco Polo, but also because it gives an insight into the relationship between Government and Big Business and how the sustainability of the planet is being seriously eroded by that relationship. Travel the Oil Road with them, you wont regret it - highly recommended
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am prompted to write this (I worked long-term in the petrochemicals industry, including residences in the Mid East), when another contributor has exposed a former 'taker of the BP shilling' sending in a 'corrective' review. I am aware the book came from people hostile to 'Big Oil'. This is a tale of diplomatic intrusion and the bullying of small countries by Anglo-American interests, as part of their global energy strategy to keep fossil fuels flowing, and outside the Russian orbit, so using an indirect and expensive route.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
This is great read. Highly informative and seriously well-written with lashings of decent political analysis you will not find elsewhere. The oil industry as seen from the bottom - man and woman on the street or rather in this case the field. We waited a long time for this.
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Format: Paperback
More of a personal journey than a travelogue really as the author is very descriptive of the places he visits and does, initially at least give a clear picture of what much of these areas are like.
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.
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