Exxon And Chevron Hope To Money In After New Caspian Summit

Leaders of the Caspian 5 meet in Astrakhan, Russia for the Fourth Caspian Summit (2014)Kremlin.ru

</div> </div> <p>On August 12, presidents of five littoral nations will meet in Aktau, Kazakhstan’s main port on the Caspian Sea, to discuss the legal status of this resource-rich body of water, which has been the subject of geopolitical discord since the collapse of the Soviet Union.</p> <p>Reconciliation of maritime borders known as delimitation, exploitation of commodities, and international security will be the primary focus of next weekend’s summit. But should the Caspian Five – Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan – reach a consensus, as is expected, the implications will reverberate well beyond the Eurasian neighborhood and into the global marketplace.</p> <p>Energy majors across the world will be eager to develop some of the <a href="https://www.aboutenergy.com/en_IT/topics/caspian-basin-eng.shtml" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://www.aboutenergy.com/en_IT/topics/caspian-basin-eng.shtml" rel="nofollow">48 billion barrels of oil and 292 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas</a> in proven offshore reserves. This is $4 trillion for oil and over $2 trillion for gas in today’s prices.&nbsp;<span>Chevron (<a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/CVX-U.TI?p=CVX-U.TI&amp;.tsrc=fin-srch-v1" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/CVX-U.TI?p=CVX-U.TI&amp;.tsrc=fin-srch-v1" rel="nofollow">NYSE</a>:CVX), Exxon (<a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/XOM/" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/XOM/" rel="nofollow">NYSE</a>:XOM), Shell (<a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/RDS-A?p=RDS-A&amp;.tsrc=fin-srch-v1" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/RDS-A?p=RDS-A&amp;.tsrc=fin-srch-v1" rel="nofollow">NYSE</a>:RDS) and BP (<a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/BP?p=BP&amp;.tsrc=fin-srch-v1" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/BP?p=BP&amp;.tsrc=fin-srch-v1" rel="nofollow">NYSE</a>:BP) are among those likely to compete with Russian, Chinese, and other&nbsp;big players for new oil and gas discoveries in the Caspian.&nbsp;</span></p> <p> </p> <p>The fate of a number of large oil and gas projects, including Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP), Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) to Turkey and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), also will be affected.</p>

Caspian Oil and Gas Projects (current and proposed)Energy Information Administration (EIA)

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<p>With over 90% of the draft convention approved, the Caspian Five are within reach of an agreement for the first time in over two decades. This comes after more than two decades of negotiations at the expert level, over 10 meetings at the foreign minister level, and&nbsp;<a href="http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/46686" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/46686" rel="nofollow">four presidential summits</a> over the issue.</p> <p>After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the three littoral states of the Caspian emerged from the USSR’s corpse, to include Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.&nbsp;The Caspian Sea is of vital geopolitical importance to these three littoral countries as they are all landlocked, and rely on the Caspian for transportation, trade, and valuable environmental resources.</p> <p>While Russia and Iran have their own ocean access, the Caspian remains a prize for them as well because of its vast hydrocarbon reserves. The EIA predicts that the region’s natural gas supplies could add as much as 27% to global production over the next 10 years. That is, if they can be accessed. Much of the Caspian’s oil and gas lies in the South Caspian Basin, which spans Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan, where territorial disputes have hindered offshore exploration.</p> <p>A resolution of these conflicts would remove key obstacles to fossil fuels exploration and development in these disputed areas, which make up some 20% of the Caspian’s licensed and unlicensed drilling blocks. Kazakhstan’s mammoth <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashagan_Field" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashagan_Field" rel="nofollow">Kashagan offshore oil field</a>, the world’s fifth largest, have only recently begun production after 20 years of development, yet would too benefit from a more solid legal framework that is about to be laid, including through the construction a potential underwater pipeline.</p> <p>Critical to any lasting solution is the Caspian’s status as a <a href="https://www.cacianalyst.org/publications/analytical-articles/item/13494-is-there-an-agreement-on-caspian-sea-delimitation?.html" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://www.cacianalyst.org/publications/analytical-articles/item/13494-is-there-an-agreement-on-caspian-sea-delimitation?.html" rel="nofollow">sea or lake</a>. With an area of 440,000 square kilometers and a&nbsp;deepest point of 1,025 meters, the Caspian is the largest closed body of water on Earth. The Caspian has no direct access to the ocean so is technically not a sea, but due to its immense size, it cannot legally be defined as a lake. If ruled an international border lake, all five states would be granted a 20% share of the body regardless of the&nbsp;length of coastline. It is no surprise then that Iran, which claims the shortest coastline along the Caspian, is advocating for this approach.</p> <p>Should the Caspian be classified as a sea, however, the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) applies. The Caspian would be divided into ‘national sectors’ according to the median line principle, where territory is determined by equidistant points from land. The length of the exclusive economic zone is calculated to run proportionally along a state’s territorial coast, thus dividing the sea into separate sectors. This is the same regime that Kazakhstan correctly lobbied for in the 1990’s and was eventually ratified by Russia and Azerbaijan <a href="https://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/biores/news/caspian-range-states-finally-adopt-caspian-sea-convention" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/biores/news/caspian-range-states-finally-adopt-caspian-sea-convention" rel="nofollow">in 2003</a>.</p>

Caspian oil and gas resources (2014)EIA

</div> </div> <p>The current proposal, similar to that offered by Kazakhstan, does not seem to make that choice of either/or, as indications imply. It includes a &quot;modified median line&quot; (MML) strategy, which treats the surface of the Caspian as a lake and the subsoil as a sea. This arrangement allows for the free flow of shipping across the surface and also permits the construction of underwater pipelines through exclusive economic zones, presumably without consent from other, unaffected, littoral states.</p> <p>The Trans-Caspian Gas&nbsp;<span>Pipeline between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan could be built as a result of the MML agreement and the green light may be given to other significant projects as well. The Agreement opens the door for a pipeline that would connect the Azerbaijan-led Southern Gas Corridor to the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline to Turkey.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>It will also provide gas to Europe, with a critical linkage to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline in the Balkans. The EU will have greater diversification of its natural gas as a result, and Turkmenistan will expand its client portfolio, as it currently only sells gas to China.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>The Caspian Sea is not as energy-rich as the Persian Gulf — but it can provide a welcome alternative to the unstable and divided Middle East. In addition to its proven reserves, the US Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that the Caspian holds <a href="https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=12911" target="_blank" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=12911" rel="nofollow">another 20 billion barrels of oil and 243 Tcf of natural gas still to be discovered</a>.&nbsp;</span><span>If and when the Caspian Sea accord is finally signed, we can expect a reinvigoration of the region’s hydrocarbon sector, as exploration and production projects ramp up.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>While the upcoming signing of the Caspian Sea legal convention is a&nbsp;communal achievement, Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who made consensus building in his neighborhood a trademark policy, and its foreign ministry, which diligently worked on preparing the summit, deserve special kudos. It would have helped the littoral states to come to an agreement sooner, but at this Summit, late is certainly better than never.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>”>

Leaders of the Caspian five meet in Astrakhan, Russia for the Fourth Caspian Summit (2014)Kremlin.ru

On August 12, presidents of 5 littoral countries will meet in Aktau, Kazakhstan’s primary port at the Caspian Sea, to talk about the prison standing of this resource-rich frame of water, which has been the topic of geopolitical discord because the cave in of the Soviet Union.

Reconciliation of maritime borders referred to as delimitation, exploitation of commodities, and world safety would be the number one center of attention of subsequent weekend’s summit. However must the Caspian 5 – Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan – succeed in a consensus, as is predicted, the consequences will reverberate well past the Eurasian group and into the worldwide market.

Power majors internationally can be desperate to expand one of the vital 48 billion barrels of oil and 292 trillion cubic ft (Tcf) of herbal gasoline in confirmed offshore reserves. That is $four trillion for oil and over $2 trillion for gasoline in as of late’s costs. Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Shell (NYSE:RDS) and BP (NYSE:BP) are amongst the ones more likely to compete with Russian, Chinese language, and different giant avid gamers for brand new oil and gasoline discoveries within the Caspian. 

The destiny of numerous massive oil and gasoline initiatives, together with Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP), Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Trans-Anatolian (TANAP) to Turkey and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), additionally can be affected.

Caspian Oil and Fuel Initiatives (present and proposed)Power Data Management (EIA)

With over 90% of the draft conference authorized, the Caspian 5 are inside of succeed in of an settlement for the primary time in over 20 years. This comes after greater than 20 years of negotiations on the skilled stage, over 10 conferences on the overseas minister stage, and 4 presidential summits over the problem.

After the cave in of the Soviet Union, the 3 littoral states of the Caspian emerged from the united states’s corpse, to incorporate Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The Caspian Sea is of necessary geopolitical significance to those 3 littoral nations as they’re all landlocked, and depend at the Caspian for transportation, industry, and precious environmental assets.

Whilst Russia and Iran have their very own ocean get entry to, the Caspian stays a prize for them as smartly as a result of its huge hydrocarbon reserves. The EIA predicts that the area’s herbal gasoline provides may just upload up to 27% to international manufacturing over the following 10 years. This is, if they may be able to be accessed. A lot of the Caspian’s oil and gasoline lies within the South Caspian Basin, which spans Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan, the place territorial disputes have hindered offshore exploration.

A answer of those conflicts would take away key hindrances to fossil fuels exploration and construction in those disputed spaces, which make up some 20% of the Caspian’s authorized and unlicensed drilling blocks. Kazakhstan’s mammoth Kashagan offshore oil box, the sector’s 5th greatest, have handiest not too long ago begun manufacturing after 20 years of construction, but would too get pleasure from a extra forged prison framework this is about to be laid, together with in the course of the building a possible underwater pipeline.

Vital to any lasting resolution is the Caspian’s standing as a sea or lake. With a space of 440,000 sq. kilometers and a private level of one,025 meters, the Caspian is the biggest closed frame of water on Earth. The Caspian has no direct get entry to to the sea so is technically no longer a sea, however because of its immense measurement, it can’t legally be outlined as a lake. If dominated a world border lake, all 5 states can be granted a 20% proportion of the frame irrespective of the period of beach. It isn’t surprising then that Iran, which claims the shortest beach alongside the Caspian, is advocating for this method.

Will have to the Caspian be categorised as a sea, alternatively, the provisions of the United International locations Conference at the Legislation of the Sea (UNCLOS) applies. The Caspian can be divided into ‘nationwide sectors’ in step with the median line concept, the place territory is decided by means of equidistant issues from land. The period of the unique financial zone is calculated to run proportionally alongside a state’s territorial coast, thus dividing the ocean into separate sectors. This is identical regime that Kazakhstan as it should be lobbied for within the 1990’s and was once ultimately ratified by means of Russia and Azerbaijan in 2003.

Caspian oil and gasoline assets (2014)EIA

The present proposal, very similar to that introduced by means of Kazakhstan, does no longer appear to make that collection of both/or, as indications suggest. It features a “changed median line” (MML) technique, which treats the outside of the Caspian as a lake and the subsoil as a sea. This association lets in for the unfastened go with the flow of delivery around the floor and likewise allows the development of underwater pipelines thru unique financial zones, probably with out consent from different, unaffected, littoral states.

The Trans-Caspian Fuel Pipeline between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan might be constructed on account of the MML settlement and the fairway mild could also be given to different important initiatives as smartly. The Settlement opens the door for a pipeline that might attach the Azerbaijan-led Southern Fuel Hall to the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline to Turkey. 

It is going to additionally supply gasoline to Europe, with a important linkage to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline within the Balkans. The EU can have larger diversification of its herbal gasoline consequently, and Turkmenistan will extend its shopper portfolio, because it these days handiest sells gasoline to China. 

The Caspian Sea isn’t as energy-rich because the Persian Gulf — nevertheless it may give a welcome choice to the risky and divided Heart East. Along with its confirmed reserves, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that the Caspian holds any other 20 billion barrels of oil and 243 Tcf of herbal gasoline nonetheless to be found outIf and when the Caspian Sea accord is in spite of everything signed, we will be expecting a reinvigoration of the area’s hydrocarbon sector, as exploration and manufacturing initiatives ramp up. 

Whilst the impending signing of the Caspian Sea prison conference is a communal success, Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who made consensus development in his group an indicator coverage, and its overseas ministry, which diligently labored on getting ready the summit, deserve particular kudos. It could have helped the littoral states to come back to an settlement faster, however at this Summit, overdue is surely higher than by no means.

 

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