Caspian Oil Projects Still Remain Key Issue

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)– At a recent business forum held in Washington DC–US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Stanley Escudero–stated that–the Caspian basin which is rich in energy resources–offers the most suitable conditions for American companies engaged in studying prospects for increased capital investment in Central Asia.

The US diplomatic efforts in the Caspian region are focused on the construction of two pipe-lines which would involve a large-scale infrastructure development.

The three main US trade establishmen’s–the US Trade and Development Agency–Exim Bank and the Oversees Private Investment Corporation encourage and offer guarantees to American companies which venture to invest money in projects implemented in the post-Soviet countries of the Caspian region.

The US Embassies in Kazakhstan and Turkmen’stan offered their assistance to American companies in implementing several gas and oil projects. The US government also opened a business center in Ankara for the development of business contacts in Turkey and countries further East.

More than 100 American companies engaged in oil and gas extraction–consumer goods production–energy and telecommunication opened their offices in Alma-Ata–Kazakhstan.

Azerbaijan and Turkmen’stan are about to settle their territorial dispute concerning the demarcation of the Caspian Sea.

At the same forum–the US Ambassador to Turkmen’stan Steve Mann stated that the time had come to realize Turkmen’stan’s energy potential. The Turkmenian gas is a key point in Turkey’s economic development plan. It is expected that natural gas will meet 25 percent of Turkey’s energy needs in ten years. At present–this ecologically clean source of energy satisfies one/eighth of Turkey’s energy needs.

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