The Caspian Comes To Europe

By Alexandros Petersen

If EU policymakers and companies are not going to go to Caspian energy producers with serious offers for their hydrocarbons, Caspian producers will just have to come to the EU. That seems to be the message being sent by Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan as their state energy companies partner to build an oil pipeline heading West-ward. Plans for the so-called Baku-Black Sea pipeline were announced at the Atlantic Council’s Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum in Bucharest on Oct. 2 by Vitaliy Baylarbayov, Deputy Vice President of SOCAR, the state oil company of Azerbaijan. READ MORE

Gazprom's Investment Strategy Runs Out Of Steam

By Sergei Blagov

Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom has cut its investment program in response to the difficulties it faces in the current economic downturn. These cost-saving measures contrasted sharply with Gazprom's pledge last year to become the world's largest company. Such efforts were supported by the Russian government. On July 13, the cabinet approved Gazprom's revised investment program worth 775 billion rubles ($25 billion) or 15.8 percent down from its 920 billion rubles ($29.7 billion) planned earlier. At a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin conceded that Gazprom's January-June 2009 production was 20.8 percent down year-on-year. However, Putin voiced confidence that Gazprom's production and sales will return to their pre-crisis levels eventually. READ MORE

Azerbaijan: No Jitters Over Turkmenistan’s Caspian Sea Threat

By Shahin Abbasov

Turkmenistan’s pledge to take Azerbaijan to court over the two countries’ rival claims to Caspian Sea oil fields has sparked more confusion than anger in Baku. Some Azerbaijani experts even believe that an international arbitration hearing could prove the best way to resolve a long-standing energy dispute. READ MORE