The Curse of Oil Episode 1 Rich and Poor

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Three part series that goes exploring the world’s oil producing regions, beyond the familiar territory of the Middle East. Unlike other documentaries that are full of gloomy predictions of perishable reserves of oil. Bill Cran’s series takes the view that there are ample supplies of oil, the problem is that most of it lies in the wrong places. Requiring the first world to deal with nasty governments or destroying the wilderness. But the relationship between oil companies, consumers and those who live where the oil is extracted is changing very rapidly. It is becoming possible for native populations to obstruct oil companies. The series concludes there are no easy answers.
Episode 1 Rich and Poor – First of three programmes offering an insight into the oil industry, beginning with an exploration of how “black gold” has been the cause of much misery and destruction. Evidence from Angola and Ecuador suggests massive environmental damage has been done, while the people who live in oil rich countries are among the last to benefit. The programme also highlights how one of the biggest companies could be facing a 6 billion lawsuit that could radically change the face of the business.
Episode 2 The Pipeline – Charts an international consortium’s efforts to build a pipeline stretching from the Caspian Sea to Turkey, crossing three countries and five war zones. The 1.6 billion project would revitalise the Western oil supply, but the route through Baku, Azerbaijan, the unstable Panski Gorge region of Georgia, and Turkey would need the protection of troops, an unthinkable prospect for many of the interested parties.
Episode 3 The Wilderness – Examines how political instabilities in the Middle East have led companies to search for oil elsewhere. In Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is soon to be the site of extensive development, despite protests from environmentalists and locals fearing for their way of life. Meanwhile, in Alberta a huge oil reserve has been discovered deep beneath an ancient forest, but getting at it could well be the most environmentally damaging operation in history.