Pipeline and seaport security

Discussion in 'General Global Topics' started by ekrem, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. ekrem

    ekrem VIP Member

    Aug 9, 2005
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    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    Turkey is about to become one of the most important transit pipeline countries of the world

    Ali Külebi

    ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

    Although it is deprived of oil and natural gas resources, owing to its geographic position Turkey is about to become one of the most important transit pipeline countries in the world in the next few years since our country is not only a key country in terms of geopolitics but also lies between Europe and a region that accounts for most of the world's oil production.

    In this context it is possible to talk about an extended Eurasian project, which the United States purportedly aims to bring into existence in the region surrounding the Caspian Sea. China and Russia are not included in this plan, which is whetting the appetite of the major powers.

    Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan -- project countries bounded by the Caspian -- have 4.5 billion tons of proven and 18 billion tons of potential reserves. According to forecasts, total exports of these countries will reach 52 million tons in 2005, 140 million tons in 2010 and 215 million tons in 2015. The Caspian region will be the producer of 4.7 million barrels daily, most of which will be available for export, a figure that can by no means be underestimated, considering daily oil exports of Saudi Arabia are 7.6 million barrels and Iran 1.9 million barrels.

    Pipelines in the surrounding areas:

    This is how the need for transporting energy produced in the world's biggest reserve basin to the West, primarily through Turkey, emerges on the basis of a number of criteria.

    Oil from the Persian Gulf, except for Iraqi oil flowing through the Kirkuk-Yumurtalık line, does not concern Turkey, which shows that Turkey will be the transit line for Caspian oil especially as well as for Russian and Iranian natural gas. In this context the 1,580-kilometer-long Tengiz (Kazakh)-Novorossisk pipeline with 26 million tons of annual throughput capacity and the Atirau-Samara line inside Russia with a 15 million/ton annual capacity are important to us. The fact that oil passing through these pipelines flows into Russia and not Europe, and their lack of usefulness, particularly for European Union countries, attaches particular importance to the 1,730 kilometer Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline with a 50 mln/ton throughput capacity. In addition, there are plans to extend the project by including Kazakh oil in the BTC. To realize this, the Aktau (Kazakh-Baku) line will be built.

    Another ongoing project planned in Caspian countries that concerns Turkey is the Baku-Tblisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline, which is currently under construction. The following pipelines and pipeline projects that extend to Western Europe from the Black Sea and bypass the Turkish straits are:

    Burgaz (Bulgaria)-Dedeağaç (Greece) (350 km) 30 mln/ton -- at project level

    Burgaz-Vlore (Albania) 35 mln/ton -- at project level

    Baku-Supsa (Georgia) 6 mln/ton -- under operation

    Odesa-Brodi (inside Ukraine) -- operates at 40 mln/ton

    In addition, there are the Baku-Novorossiysk (Russia), Tengiz (Kazakhstan)-Novorossiysk and Baku-Mohachkale (Caucasus)-Novorossiysk pipelines, which all enable the export of Kazakh and Azerbaijani oil to the Black Sea, to be shipped on vessels. These pipelines going around Turkey aim to bring natural gas and oil to world markets, particularly to Europe. Even though direct pipelines to Europe going around Turkey are outside the scope of this article, the only routes apart from the Turkish straits, which are unsuitable for large-scale transport, available for energy pumped to the Black Sea and which has no alternative other than being shipped by sea from that point on, are the Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline and other potential pipelines that can be connected to Ceyhan. However, it makes better sense to view the revolution and possibilities brought by the BTC, which forced Russia to a breaking point where it would have to realize Turkey's strategic position in energy transportation in view of the existing pipelines.

    BTC and Caspian region

    The fate of Central Asian and Caucasian oil under Russia's control until now was changed when Azerbaijani oil produced in the Caspian Sea was pumped to Ceyhan through the BTC. It wouldn't be a far-fetched assumption to say that not only the fate of Caspian oil but also the fate of Caspian countries was changed. For the last 15 years, strategists have been preoccupied with how Russia -- which has been increasingly using its oil and natural gas as a political weapon -- would act in delivering Caspian energy resources to the world market and whether it would place countries of the region in a difficult situation, in such a situation where a pipeline such as the BTC did not exist.

    The preliminary engineering work on the project launched by persistent efforts of the United States, which saw the risk of Russia using such a weapon 14 years ago, began on Nov. 15, 2000. The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) would hold 6.35 percent of BTC shares while the BTC's major partner, BP Exploration (Caspian) Ltd., would have 30.10 percent of shares, according to this project.

    The BTC traverses Azerbaijan and Georgia -- the two most important countries of the Caucasus, one of the world's most unstable regions -- while it bypasses Armenia, which is at war with Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, work to bring in oil from Kazakhstan for pumping enough oil to feed the pipeline has been concluded between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

    As well as the completion of this pipeline, which created great repercussions in the world, completion of the Baku-Tblisi-Erzurum (BTE) pipeline to export natural gas from the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea to Europe through Turkey, and the first gas being pumped into to the Azerbaijani section of this pipeline, are also good news of projects completed regarding Turkey's energy pipelines.

    The Russian Federation, which initially objected to U.S. attempts to pass Caspian oil through an alternative route, namely Turkey, wanted to prevent former Soviet republics from becoming independent from Russia. An alternative route would allow Caspian countries to access the world market at volumes and prices they set independently of Russia. However, giving up on its Caspian policy after realization of the project by U.S. efforts, Russia started to concentrate on a strategy that would make good use of Turkey's highly advantageous position as a transit country. Russia now seems to have understood that Turkey will not let 145 million tons of Caspian oil pumped into the Black Sea annually be shipped through the Turkish straits for security reasons as well as for physical restrictions.

    Russia and the United States have achieved a political balance in the Black Sea. Turkey's rights arising from the 1936 Treaty of Montreux prevent Russia from pressuring Turkey to allow heavier tanker traffic in the straits since Russia has now understood that such pressure would lead to Turkey backing the United States to assert a stronger presence in the Black Sea region. Russia, having changed strategy in light of these facts and accepted a political and commercial logic in its energy policy, is now making plans to make better use of Turkey's geographic position to transport oil from the Turkish Black Sea coast to Ceyhan. Russia's plans include pumping natural gas and oil to points further beyond Ceyhan, even to Israel. Another issue worthy of attention is the potential of Israel -- a serious consumer of energy -- to make money on pumping the oil it buys to Southern Asia through the Ashkelon-Elyat pipeline, which traverses the Red Sea.

    Work on pipeline security:

    In case all of these pipeline projects are brought to completion, Turkey, which will then be a significant transit country -- particularly the town of Ceyhan, the end point of most of these pipelines, will gain strategic status and importance. It is highly possible that the Ceyhan Port might reach a status similar to that of Rotterdam, the world's most important oil port.

    However, Caspian oil being pumped down to the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, one of the most troubled regions of the world, necessitates serious measures to be taken on the part of Turkey in terms of gulf and terminal security. Security measures tailored to fit the particularities of the Middle East, abounding with the world's bloodiest terrorist organizations, from the pipelines' point of entry into our borders, even gathering intelligence and deterring action beyond our borders, are crucial.

    Having fully grasped the importance of the matter, Turkey might be considered to have laid out the procedures to ensure oil and natural gas transportation and related security issues to a certain extent in accordance with the requirements of our day. However, this is not to say that these procedures and regulations do not provide a clear explanation of the protection of our ports acting as oil and natural gas terminals.

    Pipeline security and uninterrupted functioning of pipelines are important national economy and national security issues. At this point, the security of vessels transporting energy resources within and outside of Turkey's territorial waters is of utmost importance in terms of being a reliable transit country. Sabotage of the Kirkuk-Yumurtalık pipeline has rendered this pipeline dysfunctional. The same situation could emerge in the Caucasus, triggered by the enmity of Armenia against Azerbaijan or potential initiatives and provocations from other powers in Russia and the Caucasus and their collaborators at home, who resort to ploys or playing games in the region.

    Despite everything, establishing a special force to secure the safety of the BTC and assigning the gendarmerie forces the task of ensuring security on other pipelines demonstrate that Turkey's approach to the matter is serious. According to media reports, security measures so far taken and put into effect concerning the pipelines, the responsibility of which lies with the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Company (BOTAŞ), are:

    - BTC crude oil pipeline security: The part of the pipeline in Turkey during its construction was protected by five gendarmerie stations and 22 gendarmerie squads. Ten gendarmerie stations and 22 gendarmerie squads will be protecting the pipeline during its operation.- Iraq-Turkey crude oil pipeline security: This line is under protection by 21 gendarmerie stations. The remaining three pipelines (Batman-Dörtyol, Ceyhan-Kırıkkale, Şelmo-Batman) are being protected by security units under general safety and security rules.-In addition, work directed towards systems including developments in crude oil pipeline security and moving pipelines in areas of settlement outside these areas is under way. A motorcycle squad patrolling the area 24 hours a day is being planned in this context.

    Security of the Ceyhan Port:

    Protecting its new position as one of the world's new energy crossroads and to further enhance its capacity is of vital importance in terms of our economic interests.

    At this point, total security of the Ceyhan Port and İskenderun Bay asserts itself as an issue as important as the security of pipelines passing through Turkey.

    Security of the Port of Samsun, which is the most likely candidate to become the starting point for the pipelines, is also important from this point of view.

    Having one of greatest naval and air forces of the world, particularly in the Mediterranean, and having established total control over the eastern Mediterranean owing to this military power, is a significant advantage in this context. Northern Cyprus, which faces the Gulf of İskenderun, is of crucial importance. At this point all pressure from the EU or the United States to pull out of Cyprus should be resisted at all costs. It shouldn't be forgotten that Britain is not giving up two of its bases in Cyprus although it has shut down many of its bases across the world.

    The U.S. very recently set up a military command center close to Baku on the Caspian Sea and two radio stations to be administered from that command center in close proximity to the Russian and Iranian border. The United States' purpose is to be able to keep suspicious vessels and planes as well as land operations under control and to monitor all wireless communication, including cellular phones. Applying this security measure set up at the starting point of the BTC pipeline against terrorist activity symmetrically in the Gulf of İskenderun region and even on northern Cypriot soil at Cape Zafer in Karpaz could be of great use in terms of security, and it would also signal the permanence of Turkey's presence in Cyprus.

    Our Southern Sea Field Command has an effective dominance in the eastern Mediterranean, where clearly more and more pipelines will lead to. However, in addition to such a military force, specialized units that can more effectively ensure seaport and shore security have been organized in developed countries. The Coast Guard Command, founded in Turkey in 1982 on a very sound decision, is the key power that can carry out this function.

    The role and power of our naval forces are acknowledged in NATO's Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean and other international operations carried out under BLACKSEAFOR and provide a high degree of security.

    Although the level of security in these two seas in general has reached a state of perfection, setting up a more effective system of control in the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean in accordance with changing conditions and taking precautions against elements posing risks and threats are important for our country in military, political and economic terms. The presence of a deterrent, preventive, effective and flexible security system against risks and threats to our economic assets and interests as well as against terrorist activity is a guarantee as important for states and institutions in economic cooperation with us as it is for us. While the dimension of current and potential threats is not of a scale our armed forces cannot tackle, our sea and land forces being better organized to combat terrorist activity, renewing equipment and training to this purpose are important in terms of continuation of oil and natural gas flow from Eurasia and building confidence for starting new projects in countries of the region.

    Effective security factors:

    Political issues in the eastern Mediterranean, the lack of authority and security in the countries of the region and the presence of terrorist organizations as well as the proximity of these to Ceyhan are issues meriting attention. Potential threats coming from the sea include transportation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), human, drug and arms trafficking, and terrorist activity. The possibility of vessels being used as instruments of terrorism should be paid attention to. It would be beneficial to enhance checkpoint security and have vessels entering our territorial waters file a declaration. Work on establishing a Sea Security Coordination Center should be intensified in this context. Radar, observation, listening and monitoring systems should be set up for control, which is more effective and deterring.

    Even though the inventory of the Coast Guard Command seems to be adequate for protecting and guarding our 8,300-kilometer-long coast line, the Ceyhan and Samsun ports will soon work at a higher capacity and, parallel to this, the volume of traffic in these ports will significantly intensify, increasing the burden at these two ports. Although five new AB412 helicopters, renovation of three CN-235 helicopters for coastal security purposes, 12 KAAN-33 coast guard boats and six coast guard type 80 boats, which are being planned to be added into the armed forces' inventory, would significantly help the command to carry out its duty as expected, it would be wise to rapidly and continuously renew equipment and platforms in accordance with the ever-hanging conditions.

    The intensive efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard for coastal security following the terrorist acts of Sept. 11 are important for proving the sensitivity of the issue as ports extending over a large area, and the fields where these ports open to the sea, allow terrorist organizations that try to make maximum use of today's advanced technology and weaponry to move comfortably. We need to grasp this fact and increase the number of flying platforms of the Coast Guard Command. Another issue worthy of attention is the possibility of criminal organizations draining toxic waste into areas close to our shores.

    As some circles speculate, the question of whether the amount of money Turkey will spend on all these security measures would be covered by the estimated $300 million from the BTC is a matter of mathematical calculation. However, ensuring the sustainable energy security of our country, which imports 72 percent of its energy and creates surplus value in the economy through rational policies, employing the advantages of Turkey's geopolitical significance and increasing the country's power and potential to supply energy for the rest of the world, is also important. Our gains will be worth the expense in any case and will allow Turkey to ascend higher in the world as it deserves as well as enhance our relations with the countries of the Caspian region and the Central Asian Turkic republics.


    Inventory of the Turkish Coast Guard Command:

    Floating platforms:

    12 - 80 Class boats

    5 - Kaan-29 Class boats

    18 - Kaan-15 Class boats

    4 - SAR-35 Class boats

    10 - SAR-33 Class boats

    10 - Turkish-type boats

    8 - 70-ton boats

    10 - Metal coastal patrol craft

    Flight platforms:

    9 - AB-412 EP helicopters

    3 - CASA-CN 235 aircraft

  2. ekrem

    ekrem VIP Member

    Aug 9, 2005
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    Ceyhan lies on the South coast to Turkey:


    In the Gulf of Iskenderun, where USA is reportedly interrested in a deep-sea Naval port for its aircraft carrier. Incirlik lies just some Kilometers noth of Ceyhan.

    First Oil Developmnts maybe later Gas development:

    Current Pipelines which arrive in Ceyhan are the
    - BTC (Bakü-Tiflis-CeyhanPipeline) ---> Azerbaycan-Gerogia-Turkey
    - Kerkük-Ceyhan Piepline -----> Iraq-Turkey

    Pipelines which are being currently built leading to Ceyhan are:
    - Egypt-Syria-Turkey Pipeline (operable in 2009)
    - Samsun-Ceyhan Piepline (Turkey's Noth coast to Turkey's South coast)

    The BTC-Pipeline has a capacity of 50 Mio Tonnes of oil.
    Kerkük-Ceyhan Piepline of 80 Mio Tonnes.

    Only with these 2 Pipelines, 10 % of world's oil consumption comes from Ceyhan.

    The presently constructed Samsun-Ceyhan Piepline, which will bring Kazakhistan and Russian Oil from the Northern Black Sea coast of Turkey to Ceyhan has a capacity of 80 Mio Tonnes and is operable in 2010.

    The Egypt-Syria-Turkey Piepline has a capacity of 20 Mio Tonnes and will be operable in 2009.

    Ceyhan will so have a capacity of over 230 Mio Tonnes of Oil and will exceed Rotterdam the most important Oil terminal in the World with 140Mio Tonnes.

    Turkey's consumption of Oil is just 30 Mio Tonnes, so 200 Mio Tonnes is for the world. And we have found our own oil in the Black Sea which is currently being developed but it is not that much so that we will export it but we will consume it ourself ensuring us 20 Years Oil supply without foreign interference.
    In oher words:
    The Oil which circulates in adn out of Ceyhan has to actual oil prices a worth over 100 Billion $.

    The US corporation PLATTS of McGradyHill corporation which operates on NYSE and gives actual Energy market Data to the brokers will adopt a Ceyhan-Oil-Index within the next 3-Monts besides Brent and Barrel and South-East-Asia Oil.

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