Tuesday, 10 January 2012

When A Delay Means On Track

Oil (petroleum) drop
Image via Wikipedia
It's a funny old world, isn't it? There you are reading Gulf News' front page Business, "Strategic Oil Pipeline On Track" and the next minute you've got the National with its contrary headline "Delay for UAE crude oil pipeline".

Is this some of that vaunted context and analysis at work? Or perhaps a little doublespeak and obfuscation? A closer examination of the GN story "Habsham-Fujeirah oil pipeline 'will be ready in six months" shows that the pipeline was originally scheduled to be commissioned last year. So where precisely is GN getting 'on track' from?

Even the National story talks about a six-month delay, but both newspapers' stories cite a handover date of six months from now. So if the thing was supposed to be commissioned last year, that's more than a six month delay, isn't it?

In fact, construction of the pipeline was completed in March 2011, according to oil and gas industry magazine Pipeline in this story, as well as to this highly detailed summary of the works on the Hydrocarbons Technology website. So we're looking at an eighteen month delay, aren't we? And why, if the construction is complete, are we regaled with a huge picture in GN of a pipeline under construction, leaving readers with the clear inference that the project is still at a pipelaying stage? The National's story is picture captioned "Construction continues on the Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline in Fujairah".

And why, if the thing was finished in March of last year? Neither newspaper is clear on any reasons for a delay. In fact, both stories left me (a humble reader) with more questions than answers.

Context and analysis. Keep repeating it

(BTW, a tweet from @patrickosgood led me to his story for Arabianoldandgas.com which is altogether more credible, clearly well researched and factual - and refers to, wait for it, an 18-month delay)
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