Caspian could be one of greatest suppliers of global energy

Oct 04, 2002 02:00 AM

The Caspian Basis has the potential to be one of the greatest suppliers of global energy. If the experts are right, exports from the region's gas-and oil-rich countries could stabilise world energy markets, temper the upward pressure on oil prices and reduce global dependence on suppliers in the Middle East.
However, before this long-awaited energy boom brings economic prosperity to the region, a number of difficulties -- many, of a political-military nature -- must first be resolved.

The US is hoping to win hearts and minds in five key Caspian countries -- Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan -- by annually pumping in $ 442 mm worth of aid. Additional blocks of military aid raise its yearly investment in the region by about $ 100 mm.
Directly and indirectly, all of these outside competitors are vying for tremendous stakes. Conservative estimates put the deposits of natural gas in the Caspian Littoral States at 600 tcf worth about $ 2 bn. Oil deposits are estimated at 250 bn barrels worth close to $ 8 tn.

The war on terror and NATO's strategic transformation are two of the biggest reasons why the West has an enormous stake in promoting the security of the Caspian region and ensuring the stability, sovereignty and independence of the new States that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union eleven years ago. It is, however, the region's rich reserves of oil and natural gas that make stability of the Caspian States so important to its neighbours, to the West and to the world.
Once energy exports from this region are allowed to flow, the Caspian States could ensure that global demand does not surpass supply, could reduce the West's dependence on oil from the Gulf and could help stabilise world energy prices.

Source: Neftegaz.RU
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