Oil resources are the focal point of almost all international disputes in the present century as every country needs oil to power its electrical grids, run its automobiles, and operate its machinery. The vast majority of accessible oil lies in the extremely unstable Middle East, whose countries form most of OPEC and have a viable monopoly on oil production and pricing. The troubles caused by this situation thus come to no surprise as high demand and monopolistic supply give omnipotent control to the supplier.
The Caspian Sea region is seen by some as a possible answer to the problems of OPEC control. The Caspian Sea and the surrounding states contain 10 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 233 billion barrels of possible oil reserves (EIA), worth approximately $4 trillion. While this is severely dwarfed by Saudi Arabia’s 264 billion barrels of proven and 1 trillion barrels of ultimately recoverable oil (EIA), the Caspian Sea is expected to fill the worlds expanding needs for oil as OPEC production seems to have stagnated due to the difficulties in the Middle East.
Currently, the Caspian Sea states have been handicapped by internal legal struggles over control and division of the sea and its resources. Foreign investment has served to additionally fracture the region as foreign agendas keep the countries from cooperating. However, Caspian Sea states’ unification is crucial if Caspian Sea oil is to have an impact in the world energy economy rather than simply providing for individual foreign investors. If the Caspian Sea states were to cooperate, decisions regarding export would need to be made with the interests of all in mind rather than proc...
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...ergy Information Administration. Caspian Sea Region: Oil Export Options. July 2002. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/caspoile.html (Nov 2002).
Caspian Environment Programme. CEP: the CEP. May 2002. http://www.caspianenvironment.org/cep.htm (Nov 2002).
Iran seeks to be outlet for Caspian Sea oil.(conference on new export route held in Iran) Oil and Gas Journal v94, n1 (Jan 1, 1996):29 (2 pages).
Turkey to Require Tugboat Use.(large oil tankers passing through Bosporus straits)(Brief Article) Oil Daily v50, n211 (Nov 2, 2000):ITEM00307012.
Kazaks Discount Bosporus Fears.(Kazakstan)(Brief Article) Oil Daily v51, n69 (April 10, 2001):ITEM01100016.
Caspian Sea nations closer to territorial accord. Oil and Gas Journal v98, n26 (June 26, 2000):30.
Chelminski, Rudolph The Bosporus: A disaster waiting to happen. Smithsonian (Nov, 1998):110 (1 pages).
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