H1 H2 H3

I just heard a mention of the “H3” oilfield on some news bulletin. This brings back memories of Gulf I, when I heard about H1, H2, H3…pumping stations, oilfields, whatever.

Curious, I looked up what the “H” stood for and was astonished to find that it meant “Haifa.”

I’ve posted this article, King Ghazi opens pipeline which appeared in the Guardian in 1935 (!) before, but I’d like to post it again. There’s something about it that I find haunting. End of empire, and all that. All things must pass.

A fleet of specially chartered aeroplanes carried guests over the 150-mile journey from Bagdad to Kirkuk for the opening ceremony of the 1,200 mile pipe-line from the oilfields here to Haifa, Palestine, which was performed by King Ghazi this morning.

King Ghazi spoke in both English and Arabic just before opening the tap which started the oil flowing on its long journey to the coast. He emphasised the importance of friendly co-operation between the company operating the pipe-line and his Government.

From Kirkuk a double line takes the oil across the bed of the Tigris and the Euphrates to Hadithe, a distance of 156 miles. Thence the line forks, one great steel tube stretching out through Syria and the Lebanon to its northern terminus at Tripoli and the other crossing the rocky volcanic stretches of the Transjordan to Palestine and its southern terminal at Haifa.

Sixteen countries, including Britain, have taken part in the construction of this great line, which was built by the Iraq Petroleum Company. It is estimated that 4,000,000 tons of oil will ultimately be sent down every year.