Thursday, August 07, 2008


"The oil pipeline that crosses through Kurdistan is an economic source for the Turkish Military for this reason it is possible for the guerrilla to go for it."
~ Murat Karayılan.

HPG has claimed responsibility for a blast on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, from Yeni Özgür Politika:

HPG stated that it conducted a sabotage operation against the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline. The aftermath of this operation has resulted in a great economic cost.

HPG BİM stated that the guerrillas conducted an operation against the BTC pipeline in Refahiye district of Erzincan. BİM said, "Later on, more information will be shared with the public about this high-cost economic incident."

Within 50 kilometers of the Refahiye garrison, near Yurtbaşı village, where the pipeline passed, an explosion occured the day before yesterday [5 August] around 2300 hours and this explosion was very powerful. After the explosion, flames reached a height of 50 meters and smoke blackened the sky. Officials in Ankara had to shut down the pipeline's valve near that region. Officials did not say anything about this incident.

The pipeline was always referred to as a "secured" pipeline by Turkey. Previously HPG conducted some sabotage operations against this "secured" pipeline, which were very effective. Also, last year in October, the guerrillas conducted an operation against a Turkey-Iran gas pipeline. On 8 May, between Mersin and Sivas, they targeted the pipeline. In addition, on 25 May in Ağrı's Doğubayazıt district, HPG again conducted a sabotage operation against a Turkey-Iran pipeline, which mainly destroyed the pipeline in the region between Hallaç and Süphan.

HPG also conducted an operation against a Turkey-Iran gas pipeline in August 2006.

Turkey appears to be in denial over the actual source of the attack against the pipeline, as reported by Hürriyet (English):

"No trace suggesting sabotage has been found so far, but the cause will become clear after the fire is over," the [BOTAŞ] official said.

Now that's amazing! Here, in a region where HPG regularly operates, against a target that HPG has, not only spoken about publicly, previously attacked, the Ankara regime refuses to suggest even a hint that HPG might be involved, even when "PKK" claims the operation. But a bombing in a place, like Güngören, where HPG does not operate, against targets that HPG attempts to avoid, the Ankara regime declares a "PKK" operation. . . even after "PKK" publicly denied involvement.

Moreover, with the exception of one source quoted below, the entire international "free" press has fallen in line with the regime's story, just as the same "free" press did with the regime's Güngören story. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out why all that is so.

Hürriyet gives an indication of the economic effects of HPG's operation:

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline (BTC), which is still ablaze, will remain shut for about 15 days after an explosion sparked a fire in a section in eastern Turkey, news agencies reported on Thursday. The supply concerns pushed oil prices back to over $119.

[ . . . ]

The supply concerns helped to push oil prices higher and jump back above $120 a barrel on Thursday. Light, sweet crude for September delivery advanced $1.64 to $120.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier rising as high as $121.78.

In London, September Brent crude added $1.45 to $118.51 a barrel.

HPG's operation also managed to get some action out of BP:

BP said the BTC partners had declared force majeure on exports, freeing themselves from contractual obligations, Reuters reported.

BP said on Thursday the group which it leads producing oil in Azerbaijan had started diverting crude slated for the Turkish port of Ceyhan to other routes, including the Georgian port of Supsa, after the explosion.

"We are actively considering alternative routes," BP's spokeswoman in Azerbaijan told Reuters.

I wonder how much it costs the Ankara regime when other countries begin to "actively consider alternate routes" away from Ceyhan?

Energy Daily, in contrast to the rest of international media, has considered other possibilities:

Initial Turkish media reports stated an explosion occurred in the Refahiye BTC section, which resulted in a conflagration sending flames 160 feet into the air and halting oil flow. According to the reports, investigators are attempting to determine whether the explosion was an industrial accident or, more ominously, the result of PKK sabotage.

As Turkey, stung by PKK attacks across the border into its territory, last autumn deployed troops along the frontier, the PKK, well aware of the vulnerabilities of Turkey's energy imports, upped the ante last October, threatening, in the event of a Turkish military action, not only to strike Iraq's Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil export pipeline, but even to attack tankers heading for Turkey's Mediterranean port.

The same month the PKK's Abd-al-Rahman Chadarchi stated that if PKK forces in northern Iraq were attacked, his group would assault Turkish oil targets, "since they bring huge amounts of money to Turkey," adding, "The military regime in the country will use this (energy revenues) to develop its war machine to utilize it against the Kurdish people in Turkish Kurdistan," while Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani said, "Northern Iraq cannot be pressured. Iraq is a rich country, and if there are economic pressures, we will cut off the (Kirkuk-) Ceyhan pipeline." Turkey subsequently launched a limited incursion against PKK forces ensconced in northern Iraq in February.

According to Wikipedia, BP leads the pack in share ownership of the BTC pipeline at 30%. Other companies involved in the consortium include the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), Chevron, StatoilHydro, Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı (TPAO), Eni/Agip, Total, Itochu, Inpex, ConocoPhillips, and Hess Corporation.

"More ominously", indeed. Bijî Serok Apo!


Anonymous said...

An excellent strategic choice of target - really hitting the Pashas where it hurts. The Turkish Army cannot possibly guard the whole length of the pipeline, especially if different sections a long distance apart are attacked simultaneously. And also of course a purely economic target with no civilian casualties, which cannot be spun as 'terrorism'.

Why are they denying Kurdish guerilla action in this case? Probably they don't want to admit to the public and to their trading partners that the pipeline is not secure.

Or maybe they want to blame it on Armenia, whilst Armenia's supply lines from Russia are disrupted by the new Russian conflict with Georgia? Undoubtedly the Pashas would love to finish the job from 1915 and 1918-19 if they could.

Spray-painting huge Kurdish flags on the blown-up pipelines by way of a signature should make it harder for the Turks to lie....

Anonymous said...

Despite all the neat lies and half-truths that Turkey produces and delivers on a daily basis, and the western journalists who have an uncanny sense of when not to question a particular source, I know that the people whose economic interests are at stake know very well who carried out the bombing coz a Smile and a Denial just ain't an answer where corporate profits are concerned.


Mizgîn said...

Well, exactly, Anonymous--the pipeline is not secure. In fact, Turkish-occupied Kurdistan is not secure. If it were, why is there still fighting after 24 years? Why do things like the Bezele or Daglica operations happen? Why are the guerrillas still holding Kato Dagi? Why are police stations becoming RPG-magnets?

And if Armenia still has good relations with Russia, then Turkey better leave it alone. It's not going to take the Russian army any effort to take all of Georgia, and then it will be sitting on Turkey's border. If it's okay to have NATO's so-called "defensive shield" on Russia's border, then it's okay to have the Russian army on NATO Turkey's border. Right?

Nistiman, corporate profits are obviously the key here, and South Ossetians have also threatened BTC. Additionally, at the end of July, Gazprom became the king of Turkmenistan oil and gas, effectively locking out the Iron Triangle for the foreseeable future.

Welcome to the Cold War v.2.

mishka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mishka said...

The case is very much as you put it Mizgîn. The Turkish governement are worried that they might lose the conduit so they cover up the sabotage from the HPG. And by the reaction on the market the Kurdish freedom movement did a job well done. But also with regard to the fact that the pipeline might be shut down for more than 15 straight days.

Your analysis of how the western mass media has come to terms with this sabotage is also accurate. It just shows how "free" the press really is. It's nothing more than a mouthpiece for the elite around the world.

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