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.