Watching Government: Caspian finish line

Even a pessimist would concede that the US has won a major energy policy victory in Central Asia. After years of political wrangling, a consortium of eight oil companies will soon break ground on a 1,100 mile oil export pipeline from Azerbaijan and the Caspian region through Georgia to Ceyhan on the Turkish Mediterranean coast (OGJ Online, Aug. 14, 2002).The US, beginning with the Clinton administration, resisted industry attempts to build a shorter, less expensive pipeline through Iran. The US also successfully discouraged other possible routes, fearing the Russians or someone else might manipulate what could become a vital crude source for Western markets.Pipe for the $2.9 billion syste...

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