Who Needs the Gulf, Anyway?

The hazardous race being run by U.S. convoys through the Persian Gulf coincides with a less publicized development in the Middle East: a rush to expand pipelines as an alternative means of exporting oil.

The region's producers, worried about the vulnerability of tankers, are doubling their capacity this year, creating a network of pipelines that will be able to carry almost half of all gulf oil to Mediterranean and Red Sea ports without a drop of it passing through troubled waters.

Last week Iraqi oil flowed into new lines through Turkey to the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun, boosting export capacity from...