Oil pipelines in the Middle East have historically focused on the security of supply and export rather than on the economic benefits of having cheaper oil transport. Looking at the historical record of these pipelines, one could easily conclude that the objective of oil supply security sought by Middle-Eastern producers has not been met through pipelines.
In fact, there is no security of petroleum supply from the Middle East without real political stability in the region. Nevertheless, the turbulent history of the area does not promise future stability.
On the gas side, developers of new gas pipelines have also to take into consideration the new realities in the global gas markets which are now favouring the trade of gas in liquefied form (LNG) rather than through pipelines.
Building a regional gas network between countries of the Middle East should always be kept on top of the policy-makers agenda. Such a network shall increase the gas resources available to regional economies and shall create a strong development drive. In addition, it shall boost intra-regional trade and become an important step towards a long-term political co-operation and economic integration.