ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Pipeline Politics

Ongoing pipeline politics in the Caspean and central Asian region has been surcharged with fears of continuing hostility along all routes. Ethnic animosity, political instability and persisting apprehensions about the volatility of the region are practical obstacles to the development of the oil economy of the area.

Oil politics in central Asia and the Caspean has engaged worldwide attention in recent times as never before. The sheer size of the potential oil and gas reserve, its exploration and possible avenues of transport to the outer world beyond the CIS, the partners likely to be involved in future oil trade, and the benefit that would accrue to the concerned countries are some of the major areas of post-Soviet debates and discussions.

The Caspean littoral has five states – Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. All of them are endowed with rich oil and gas reserves. Four of these five countries were a part of the former Soviet Union. Apart from Russia, two of them – Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are located in central Asia and Azerbaijan is in the Caucasus. Their independence after the Soviet disunion had offered them as much opportunities as challenges to make their freedom viable. If Azerbaijan was too famous an oil rich forepost of the Soviets in the Caspean with developed infrastructure for oil exploration and export, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan were equally too weak in a sense that their natural resources potentials were neither fully tapped; nor gainfully exploited. Even today they lack adequate infrastructure to exploit their natural resources independently.

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