Caspian Convention Can Help Boost Iran Oil, Gas Exports

Caspian Convention Can Help Boost Iran Oil, Gas Exports
Caspian Convention Can Help Boost Iran Oil, Gas Exports

The Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea will facilitate Tehran’s energy cooperation with Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, and Astana, Kazakhstan, and help export Iranian oil and gas products after the reinstatement of US sanctions, experts told Sputnik.

The status of the oil- and gas-rich Caspian Sea was regulated by agreements reached between Iran and the Soviet Union until the dissolution of the latter, followed by the emergence of newly-independent littoral states, namely Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, who had managed to reach the agreement after over 20 years of diplomatic efforts.

"The Convention on the Caspian Sea signed on 12 August 2018, in Aktau, Kazakhstan […] opens major economic possibilities. Most importantly, an estimated 68 billion barrels of oil and 535 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in proved and probable reserves may be available for extraction by the five countries," Jamsheed K. Choksy, the chair of Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University, told Sputnik.

"In addition to easing domestic energy costs for those nations, commercial exploitation presents the possibility of the region becoming a pivotal player in global supply if the signatories act cooperatively for mutual benefit."

In particular, the Caspian Convention may give a new impetus to building the Trans-Caspian pipeline, which will help transport the region’s gas through Azerbaijan to new markets in Europe, bypassing Iran and Russia.

In November, the signatories are set to gather in Azerbaijan to hold the first meeting of a working group on implementing the convention, which in the long run will integrate the whole region, according to another expert.

"The convention will help improve relations between all the states and help integrate the region. It is something that benefits all from all sides of the Caspian. I hope that cooperation will help improve the environment as well, while also enhancing energy cooperation," Mohammad Marandi, a professor at the University of Tehran, told Sputnik.


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