Reports

Defining the Caspian - The future of Caspian energy - Prospects and challenges

20 May 2014


Many of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and the Caspian basin have assumed prominence in Eurasian and global affairs, largely thanks to their vast energy reserves. The oil and gas lying underneath the Caspian region has fostered a geopolitical competition between several key players, including Russia, China and, to a lesser extent, the EU. Today, oil and gas from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in the East of the Caspian primarily goes to Russia and the Far East, although both Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have expressed a desire to further diversity. On the West shore, Azerbaijan has become a key energy partner of the EU; gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field will come to the European market via the Southern Corridor, with the first deliveries expected in 2018. Meanwhile to the South, Iran, with its vast energy reserves continues to be hobbled by sanctions, which has impacted on Tehran’s export options for the meantime.  The Policy Dialogue focused on the future development of Caspian energy; to what extent can the EU extend its access to Caspian energy resources and the prospects for energy competition in the region.