Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Curse of Oil

This is a three-part documentary series that goes on a revealing journey through the world's oil-producing regions, beyond the familiar territory of the Middle East.

PART ONE - Rich & Poor
The discovery of oil is usually celebrated as a one-way ticket to wealth and economic growth. Yet evidence indicates that the presence of oil in a developing country makes life worse, not better, for most of the people who live there - particularly the poorest people.

This programme travels to Ecuador and Angola where, historically, oil has proved to be more of a curse than a blessing and asks the question how much of this is the responsibility of the oil industry and looks at how oil companies are responding to the challenges presented by this 'paradox of plenty'.

PART TWO - The Pipeline
The Caspian Sea contains some of the largest untapped energy reserves on the planet and everybody wants a share. A 1,100-mile pipeline is being built to transport the Caspian's oil to the markets of Europe and North America.

This programme follows the route of the new pipeline through some of the most geographically challenging and politically dangerous places on earth, as it makes its way from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea.

En route, the filmmakers encounter disgruntled Turkish villagers, British engineers enduring arctic temperatures and an American-trained force of new military recruits in Georgia.

PART THREE - The Wilderness
As the demand for oil increases, fragile wilderness areas across the world are being opened up to oil exploration and furious debate.

This programme travels from the political lobbies of Washington DC to Alaska, where the pristine landscape of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could soon be the site of extensive oil development, and on to Alberta where production of 'The World's Worst Oil' is already underway.

Opposition from environmental groups is growing but so is the world's hunger for oil. We need the oil but how far will we go to get it?

Click here to visit the official website for this series.

More documentaries like this...

The Kogi

Sweet Misery

Life After People

A World Without Water

Global Dimming

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