Privatization of the power and natural gas industries in Hungary and Kazakhstan, Volumes 23-451

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Economic power 3. Geo-strategic location 4.

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Military power 5. Know-how and technology 6. Control of the export routes 7. History and socio-cultural influence 9. Consideration of environmental issues Different combinations of these factors lead the actors to formulate different policies as dictated by their interests.

Through interviews and detailed analysis, this study will also attempt to identify which factors are most important and which are less critical. Contributions to the Existing Body of Knowledge This study provides a comprehensive analysis and produces valuable insights into the energy resource development process in the Caspian Basin context.

To my knowledge, there are no academic studies on this region that address the issue of energy resource development by including all the relevant actors and defining the critical factors. Thus, this is a novel contribution to the literature on the resource-based economic development. Second, in this model, transnational companies are treated as actors equal to nation states. Clearly transnational oil companies have their own interests and they have the resources i.

Furthermore, this study will confirm some of the earlier literature Cowhey by showing that oil companies tend to underestimate the relevance of politics in the decisions they must make. This study will review this issue at a greater depth than that found in the current literature and will conclude that political factors are dominant in the region and at least as important as economics in determining which pipeline is to be built.

Third, no published study has explored a comprehensive set of factors, discussed above, with regard to their relevance to issues of energy development. This study will provide an improved research tool, by which we can understand energy development and especially pipeline politics at the regional level. The advocates of globalization believe that states will be increasingly bound by the impersonal power of the marketplace and will find their freedom of action constrained to a far greater extent Gilpin ; Strange Whether it is, as some argue, the third wave of globalization,1 or the first, the relationship between the energy resources of the region and their periphery will be studied thoroughly for the first time.

I urge the readers to read the observations and conclusions chapter Chapter Nine of this study prior to delving into the entire text. Further, as they peruse the complete study, I would ask that they be always cognizant of the interaction among various issues such as politics, economics, ethnicity, history, prospects for interdependency and transition to democracy etc.

The Third Wave. Economic Sources Of Instability Ethnic Make-up of the Region and Related Problems Lack of Organized Civil Society and Democracy Environmental Issues Issue of the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea Political Assets of Turkey in the Caspian Region Economic Assets Social and Cultural Aspects of Relations The United States Oil and Gas Companies On the Model and Analysis Used On the Issues Geopolitical implications of the oil and gas development in the region Importance of political factors in oil and gas development United States-Russia Commercial energy dialogue and possible effects on the Caspian region Turkey and the future of BTC project Multinational Companies Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan The regions most affected by this downfall are the constituent parts of the defunct communist empire.

Such turmoil has not been witnessed among the varied regions of the former Soviet Union including the Caspian Basin1 since World War I. Along with the re-distribution of political power and the emergence of new balances, the recent waves of change also have had significant effects on the prospects for development of energy resources in the region. This issue is worth examination simply because the importance of these resources is far greater today than it was 80 years ago.

Since the early s, fundamental changes in oil and gas development of the Caspian Basin have affected the geopolitical atlas of world energy in a number of ways. These mega trends already have impacted Eurasian geopolitical games and will greatly refashion oil and gas stakeholders' strategies regarding business opportunities in this region. It also comprises the Northern Caucasus section of the Russian Caspian region. However, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Caspian Basin has become an exciting new and important source of supply for Western markets.

The newly independent states of the Caspian Basin, namely Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are estimated to possess reserves of more than 25 billion barrels of oil. More recently, studies using sophisticated three- dimensional imaging methods, which had not been used in the region before, have led to the upward revision of the size of proven oil reserves in the Caspian Sea from about 80 billion barrels to about billion barrels, and there is hope for yet more discoveries.

In addition, proven reserves of Caspian natural gas Basin compose approximately percent of total world reserves. Undisputedly large resources are located in Turkmenistan4 as well as in Azerbaijan. However, the New Greater Middle East has to compete with other regions, especially its close neighbor Russia, for a considerable share of the world energy market. Russia has proven oil reserves of about 50 billion barrels and possesses the world's largest natural gas reserves, with 1, tcf of proven reserves and 7, tcf of potential resources.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, production declined about 75 percent. The main reasons for such drastic decline are limited access to Russian pipelines, the inability of former large consumers to pay their bills e. Introduction 3 like Iran and Turkey as well as great powers like the U. Supply Routes Caspian geography dictates a high degree of dependence of producer countries on transit countries for oil and gas export. Geopolitical forces and environmental concerns about oil shipping routes, which create pressure for the construction of pipelines that are not always the shortest route to market, intensify this dependence.

Some of the proposed pipelines involve an exceptionally high, even unprecedented, number of transit countries. Three of the five Caspian littoral states are landlocked Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan. As often indicated by leading energy industry magazines, such as the Oil and Gas Journal, the single most important factor that dictates future oil production in the Caspian, is the availability of export capacity. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan BTC main oil pipeline, scheduled for completion in the first half of , will be the first oil pipeline coming out of the Caspian Basin that will not cross Russian territory to reach international markets.

The pipeline will cross Azerbaijan and Georgia before reaching the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The principal stakeholder is British Petroleum BP with a Other members of the consortium include US based Unocal, with 8. Once complete, the pipeline will have the capacity to ship a million barrels of oil a day. There are few examples of such transit complexity elsewhere in the world such as gas pipelines from Russia to Europe. From the earliest stages of the project until the beginning of its construction, detractors of this pipeline have questioned whether the Caspian Basin contains sufficient energy reserves to justify the massive construction and projected transportation costs.

BTC opponents suggested that political factors were possibly blinding the US and Turkish governments to the financial risks of the pipeline, which, they claimed, have been more politically motivated than any other oil project in the world. Proponents, on the other hand, insisted that both economic and political factors must be considered when evaluating the project. It became clear in and that, despite the availability of more economic and shorter alternative routes through Iran in the south and Russia to the north, the BTC pipeline would be the main export pipeline for Azerbaijani oil.

Several global oil conglomerates such as BP, TotalFinaElf, ConocoPhillips attached even greater importance to the BTC pipeline, predicting that it would emerge eventually as the primary conduit for the flow of not only Azerbaijani oil and gas, but for the entire Caspian Basin energy resources to Western markets.

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It is yet too early to conclude that this indeed might be the case. Clearly, the BTC pipeline could deny Iran a significant role as a Caspian energy exporter, reduce the dependence of the Caspian, Caucasus and Central Asian states on Russian pipelines, and bolster fledgling regional economies, especially those of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. These companies had hoped that President George W. Bush, a former oil executive, would reconsider the US position.

But currently the US remains steadfastly against any project that could give Iran more leverage in Western oil markets. Instead, US officials during the realization process of this project repeatedly "reaffirmed" the Bush administration's commitment to the BTC pipeline declaring the project sound, both politically and financially OGJ, Jan. Kazakhstan — The Biggest New Oil Producer in the Caspian Basin One of the most significant oil discoveries of the last 30 years was the Kashagan shallow-water oil field, off Kazakhstan, in the fall of A two-year initial appraisal program undertaken by contracting companies in the North Caspian Sea production-sharing agreement, in conjunction with the Kazakh government resulted in a preliminary estimate of producible reserves in the range of billion barrels for that field.

Natural Gas Binds Europe to Russia Despite Crisis

This is another area that warrants further investigation to gain insights into energy resource development policies in the Caspian Basin. EIA Caspian Region Report September 9 The field, known as Kashagan, lies in the north-west Caspian off the coast of Kazakhstan and is reported to cover an area 75 kilometres long by 35 kilometres wide.

William Zempolich, the company's head of exploration said in October that preliminary results suggested it was "one of the largest discoveries made in the past 30 years". General manager Keith Dallard added it was "much, much bigger than anything we've seen in the North Sea". Senior Kazakh officials have suggested that Kashagan could be the second largest offshore site in the world, ranking just behind Saudi Arabia's massive Ghawar field. Ann Smith, Pamela. In addition to these countries, the roles of the United States and other Caspian littoral countries like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and transnational oil companies are of fundamental importance and they all constitute primary actors.

These actors have their own interests in the region in terms of energy resource development, and they all try to maximize their interests. Russia has had a long and important role in Central Asia and the Caspian region. It remains an important influence in the area as the largest trading partner for Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan and Russian territory and the existing energy industry infrastructure constitutes the principal transportation channel for oil and gas out of the region.


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Russia holds the largest natural gas resources and one of the largest oil reserves in the world. With its extensive pipeline network, Russia exerts substantial influence on both world energy markets and the Caspian energy sector, for which it has served historically as a transit route. Turkish and Russian policy makers competed for a main export oil pipeline across their territory to carry Azerbaijani and possibly Kazakh crude to the European market. Ankara together with Washington has pushed for the BTC main export pipeline project that would bypass both Russia and Iran, while Moscow backed the "northern route" to Novorossiysk.

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By mid, however, the Russian government — after realizing then that it was impossible to prevent the BTC— dropped its opposition to the project. Instead, Russia has taken steps toward finishing the construction of the high-capacity Tengiz-Novorossiysk pipeline built by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium , cautiously but shrewdly playing Kazakh oil against Azerbaijani oil on the world markets. The actors, in this competition certainly include Iran as an important actor. Undeniably, Iranians have many assets, such as their energy technology, experience and geographical location.


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The Iranians try these advantages fully in pursuit of their regional ambitions. They strive to weave a web of energy cooperation with all the Caucasian and Central Asian countries proximal to Iran. In late s they have signed contracts to transport Kazakh oil and Turkmen across their territory. First, Turkey has a general and strategic stake in the independence and well being of the new Turkic republics of the region.

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Just as the founders of the European Community saw coal and steel as a source of peace and stability for Europe, so we see oil and gas in our region serving the same role. The United States is clearly another major actor in this competition, although not in the region. Caspian energy development has some significant implications for broader US foreign policy goals. Large-scale swaps of this type by American companies with Iran have been opposed by the United States. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the energy industry in these countries and especially the oil and gas sector shrank along with the rest of the economy.

This contraction was due to inefficiencies inflicted upon these economies during the administrative-command system of the Soviet Union, the integrated and dependent nature of Caspian economies to that of Russia and the reluctance of post-Soviet governments to implement policies that would remedy these inefficiencies in an era of otherwise open market conditions.

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