Caspian and Eurasian Energy Futures: Oil on the silk road

From Russia and the Caspian Sea to the Indian subcontinent and the Far East, important and exciting energy developments are taking place in Eurasia – a large geographic area. There are many implications for broader Western goals. These goals fall generally into three categories: energy security; the establishment of stable, market–driven and democratic states; and expansion of new economic opportunities for US and Western investors. The Caspian region is a valuable example of how energy development bears directly on these topics.

The World Today
Published 1 August 2000 Updated 28 October 2020 4 minute READ

Jan Kalicki

Counselor, US Department of Commerce

The Caspian is destined to play an important role in future Western energy security. Although it will not eclipse the Gulf region as a prime energy supplier, it is likely to prove large enough to replace eventually some traditional western sources, such as the North Sea. Oil from there has been a major factor in moderating western energy prices over the past two decades.

The potential of the Caspian is underlined by the huge promise of the Kashagan oil field, where the Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Company (OKIOC) consortium is undertaking exploratory drilling off Kazakhstan’s coast and by the world class Shah Deniz gas field off the coast of Azerbaijan, now being developed by a consortium led by BP Amoco.

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