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Turkey should protect pipelines to become an energy hub, a US report says.

Turkey should protect pipelines to become an energy hub, a US report says.

The Caspian region is of growing importance for global oil supplies, with Turkey aiming to become an international energy hub, according to a study by the RAND Corporation think tank.

However, to achieve that ambition, Turkey needs to improve protection of its pipelines and energy infrastructure, which have been the target of repeated attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), said Andrew Weiss, who authored a volume of the study.

The report, which was conducted for the U.S. Air Force, discussed the energy needs of American ships and jets. Renewable fuels for U.S. military ships and jets are likely to remain “far more expensive” than petroleum products absent a technological breakthrough, the study said yesterday, questioning a Pentagon push for alternative energy.

While the U.S. Department of Defense is a huge consumer of fuel at about 340,000 barrels per day, that figure is a tiny fraction of the 87 million barrels per day of global demand, too small to influence price significantly, it said.

Efforts to make fuel from seed or algae oils are not producing at the scale or price necessary to meet the military’s demand at a reasonable cost, said James Bartis, a RAND researcher who also authored a volume of the report.

June/20/2012

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