Caspian Reserves Luring Operators

Frank C. Alexander Jr. International Legal Consultant Houston Dada Gorgud semisubmersible at work in the Caspian Sea for AIOC. The unit has been used for drilling on Azeri-Chirag fields as part of the ACG field unitized development. Photo by Oleg Litvin for AIOC, courtesy Amoco Corp. A 1997 U.S. State Department report estimates there are 178 billion bbl of proven and possible reserves in the Caspian republics of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. International oil companies (IOCs) are risking billions of dollars on Caspian area E&P. But there are two major problems: First, ownership of the petroleum beneath the Caspian Sea is s...

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