The Accidental Russophile has posted an entry analyzing the role of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in the escalating conflict between Russia and Georgia. He writes:
The question you should be asking is – why would the west even care about Georgia at all – and why would they like to see this conflict resolved? As with most things these days, it all goes back to oil. This is an issue that Russia Blog did fail to touch upon. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) connects the oil-rich (but land-locked) Caspian Sea region with the Mediterranean, bringing oil to western markets. This is the second longest pipeline in the world and its location was specifically selected through Georgia to avoid possible conflicts with Russia and Iran (which would have been easier construction routes).