Civilitas Foundation Hosts Discussion on Oil Politics in Caucasus

The first lecture-discussion by the Civilitas Foundation Council on International Relations featured Bedros Terzian, President of Petrostrategies, a consulting and publishing firm based in Paris, France.

Mr. Terzian presented an hour-long talk on "The Economics and Politics of Oil in the Caucasus." The lecture was attended by more than a hundred businessmen, politicians, economists, civil society representatives, students and journalists.

Civilitas Founder Vartan Oskanian welcomed the guests and explained the purpose of these such gatherings to be hosted periodically by the Civilitas Foundation. He said that those interested in such topics and their impact on the development of Armenia and the Caucasus. He introduced Civilitas’s first guest, Mr. Terzian, who besides being an international expert on oil and gas, is also a long-time member of the Armenia Fund Board of Trustees.

Bedros Terzian started his presentation with a comprehensive introduction to the current state of world oil reserves, the reasons for price fluctuations and their consequences on the region. Speaking about Caspian reserves, Mr. Terzian noted that the Caspian region holds only about four percent of the world’s oil reserves. The largest reserves are in Kazakhstan, with Azerbaijan offering 3% of oil and 7% of gas reserves.

As world demand, and prices, plummet, the importance of countries such as Azerbaijan which don’t hold massive reserves also plummets, since the crucial need to procure ‘every last drop’ no longer exists as it did even a year ago.

On the future of oil supplies and oil prices, Mr. Terzian noted that current low prices will not offer sufficient incentive to increase exploration or production, and will therefore lead to eventual high prices, as a result of rising demand.

A lively question and answer session followed Mr. Terzian’s presentation.

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