These governments have sought to balance short-term incentives to spend oil revenues as a means to maintain power against the need for a long-term strategy for managing these assets, choices which have further implications for how these countries align themselves internationally. By illuminating important linkages between domestic and international dynamics in these states, the book provides a fresh perspective on energy politics and the impact of petroleum on the development of the Caspian petroleum producers. Expert contributors from Central Asia and the South Caucasus and international scholars provide context-specific insights into the incentives affecting decision-makers that can provide a foundation for strategies to help the countries in the region overcome the negative effects of reliance on oil and gas.
As such, the book will be a valuable tool for business actors seeking to understand the role of Chinese and Russian companies in the region, as well as local and international policymakers and non-governmental organisations. Adil Nurmakov 2.
Profile: Central Asian Countries
He has a Ph. Her main research interest is the politics of petroleum development in post-Soviet Eurasia, and she specializes in Azerbaijani politics. Andrea Kendall-Taylor has conducted extensive research in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan focusing on the political factors that affect how governments manage petroleum revenue. Andrea is currently completing her Ph. Learn more…. Routledge eBooks are available through VitalSource. Most VitalSource eBooks are available in a reflowable EPUB format which allows you to resize text to suit you and enables other accessibility features.
Among states with major energy reserves, Azerbaijan remains closest to the United States.
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With the BTC on-line and a new gas pipeline deal with Turkey in the works—a project that had major support from the United States—Azerbaijan has done more than any other state in the region to pull away from Moscow's orbit. Concerns about authoritarian governance, corruption, and US support for Armenia do complicate bi-lateral relations, but in general there has been substantial cooperation in the energy sector. One problem, however, may be that Azerbaijan may fail to live up to its promise as an energy producer. Many investments did not pan out because drilling did not discover major oil or gas deposits.
Writing in , Alec Rasizade notes that. Of the remaining 16 projects, only five are actually in the works. See also Rutledge, Indeed, in its first full year of existence, BTC transported only million barrels of oil, only about a seventh of its long-range potential. Consequently, the focus has turned to Kazakhstan in the hopes that the Kazakhs will participate in the BTC and consequently move away from Russia. However, this is far from certain. In the first place, although Kazakhstan expects to need more foreign investment to develop its reserves, changes in the law in require that Kazmunai Gaz, a Kazakh state-owned company, must own at least 51 percent of the shares of any production-sharing agreement and that it will be contracted for all offshore agreements.
Changes in tax policy in — also work against foreign investors. Thus, any expectation that US companies will dominate the energy sector in Kazakhstan are likely to be mistaken. Moreover, to the extent that Russian companies such as Gazprom, which in many respects are appendages of the Russian government, may be more concerned about geopolitics than profits, an unfavorable climate for investment in Kazakhstan would likely favor the Russians. The question of pipelines is even more up in the air. Kazakhstan will need more export routes.
For example, if current projections hold, the Kashagan field will produce up to 1. How will this oil be shipped to world markets? This, however, is rather unwieldy and may not be cost effective.
Caspian Energy Politics: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan
An undersea pipeline route, which was avidly discussed in the s, would likely have a host of legal and environmental problems. While the projected output on Kazakhstan may necessitate multiple export routes, it seems likely that Russia will remain Kazakhstan's primary outlet.
The fact, however, is that markets alone will NOT decide this issue. Doubly-landlocked Uzbekistan, the other major gas supplier on the eastern side of the Caspian, is, as of , even less the object of talks about a western-directed export route.
Caspian Energy Politics: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan - Google книги
Due to geography and the domestic political situation in several Caspian region states, the United States is, comparatively speaking, seen as a less attractive partner. Indeed, given geography, China's growing demand for energy, 54 and the perception that the Chinese are the least threatening outside actor as opposed to Russia or the United States , it has excellent prospects in the Caspian basin and Central Asia.
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By , it was the world's second-largest importer of oil. As noted earlier, China entered into the region largely through the SCO, which initially was most concerned about security issues. However, with Chinese impetus, the SCO has also established an energy working group, a clear effort to create a multi-lateral forum to draw China into the politics of energy and, implicitly, compete with the Russian bilateral approach.
It is in the gas sector, however, that the Chinese have been the most active. In , Beijing signed a thirty-year agreement with Turkmenistan to purchase up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas a year starting in and committed itself in principle to develop a pipeline from Turkmenistan. In April , China and Uzbekistan agreed to build a mile gas pipeline to China most likely traversing Kazakhstan as well that could export up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas a year, half of Uzbekistan's current output.
Moreover, the Chinese firm Sinopec pulled out of a joint venture with Uzbekistan in because of a tax increase in Uzbekistan. How all this will play out is very unclear. With pipeline deals in the works with both Russia and China, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan may be trying to play the two powers off each other, looking to use one to get a better price for gas from the other.
At minimum, however, Chinese involvement in the gas sector will significantly reduce Moscow's and Gazprom's power in the region. While the global economic slowdown in the late s depressed demand and prices for energy, competition over energy reserves in the Caspian Basin will no doubt continue for many more years.
Its dynamics depend upon a number of factors, including security issues, global energy demand, domestic politics within the region, and the strategies of external actors. What is striking, however, is that no outside power has been able to establish dominance in the region. This is clearest in the cases of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Kazakhstan, the most economically successful of all the Caspian states, has been able to make major deals with a number of outside actors. Although it cannot escape its geography and reliance on Russia, it is no Russian puppet. Indeed, if in the early s one could speak of Russian coercion against Kazakhstan, over time the relationship has become far more cooperative.
The same, although on an even more obvious level, can be said of Uzbekistan. Although Uzbekistan briefly became an important ally of the United States, concerns over the US political agenda have pushed it back toward Moscow and, especially in the energy sector, toward Beijing.
Indeed, the fact that Uzbek President Islam Karimov received a twenty-one gun salute during a visit to Beijing in June —when his government was anathema in the West—reflects how more purely political concerns can affect energy politics in the region. Although Azerbaijan, largely for geographical reasons, has been able to tilt more than any other Caspian energy producer to the West, it retains ties including oil and gas export routes with Russia. Potentially, Western efforts to push a democratization agenda on Baku could, as arguably has occurred with the Kazakhs and Uzbeks push the Azeris, closer to Moscow.
As for Turkmenistan, its relative isolation and bizarre leadership under Niyazov hampered its ability to engage outside actors. With Niyazov gone, Turkmenistan, while still close to Russia, has concluded deals with the Chinese and remains a major target of Iranian interest. Even though its past and present leaders may be loath to act upon them, it does, so to speak, have options. Although no observer has a crystal ball to forecast accurately the future, if pressed to make a prediction, it seems safe to conclude that Russia and China have the best prospects in the region.
Russia has too much of a geographic advantage and a far greater ability to meddle in the domestic politics of Caspian and Central Asian states, all of which must be sensitive to Russian policy. This does not mean that the region will become Russian-dominated, largely because Russia lacks the capacity to impose its will, a point made recently in the pages of this journal. Meanwhile, given China's growing economic clout and thirst for energy, it is poised to be increasingly involved with the region.
Its security norms also correspond well with the priorities of Central Asian governments. As for the United States and the West in general, it will certainly be involved in various energy projects, but, despite the wishes of some, the Caspian Region will not be on American radar screens the same way that, for example, the Persian Gulf is.
While it certainly will not be pushed out of the region, it cannot push others—who have various geographic, economic, or political advantages—out either. Perhaps more than any other region in the world, the Caspian and Central Asia will be the site for geo-political pluralism. Skip to main content.
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