Afghanistan Oil Pipeline
|Afghanistan Oil Pipeline|
|Country||Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan|
|To||Pakistan's Arabian Sea Coast|
|Runs alongside||Trans-Afghanistan Gas Pipeline|
|Length||1,000 mi (1,600 km)|
|Maximum discharge||1 million barrels per day (~5.0×107 t/a)|
Central Asian Oil Pipeline Project
In the 90s, the American Unocal Corporation considered in addition to the Trans-Afghanistan Gas Pipeline building also a 1,000 miles (1,600 km) long 1,000,000 barrels per day (~5.0×107 t/a) oil pipeline to link Turkmenistan's Türkmenabat (former Chardzou) to Pakistan's coast along the Arabian Sea. Through the Omsk (Russia) – Pavlodar (Kasakhstan) – Shymkent – Türkmenabat Pipeline, it would provide a possible alternative export route for regional oil production from the Caspian Sea. The pipeline was expected to cost US$2.5 billion. However, due to political and security instability, this project was dismissed.
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Some critics have proposed that the actual motive for the Western invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was Afghanistan's importance as a conduit for oil pipelines from Azerbaijan to Afghanistan's neigbouring countries. Others have argued that the theoretical pipeline was not a significant reason for the invasion because most Western governments and their respective oil companies prefer an export route. This route goes through the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan then to Georgia and on to the Black Sea instead of one that goes through Afghanistan. Bypassing Russian and Iranian territories would break their collective monopoly on regional energy supplies.