Russia and the Caspian Region: Between East and West
At the turn of the twentieth century, the Russian Empire emerged as the world’s largest crude oil producer and exporter with the rapid development of the oil industry in the Baku region.1 In Baku, a cosmopolitan city where East meets West, entrepreneurs of various national origins made fortunes out of oil. Engineers such as the Nobel brothers and Mendeleev brought their expertise and shaped the nascent oil industry. After a tumultuous century of ups and downs, modern Russia is back again on the international scene as a major oil and gas exporter, manifesting ambitions to become an energy superpower in the context of surging global demand for energy. New Russia’s strategy highlights that its unique Eurasian location and vast hydrocarbon resources should be able to ensure the security of supply to both its western and eastern neighbours in the twenty-first century. The same ambitions are cherished by the former Soviet republics around the Caspian Sea. Rich in oil and gas, they are emerging as new important suppliers of energy resources. Their full potential is still untapped.
KeywordsEnergy Sector Energy Crisis Energy Strategy Caspian Region Primary Energy Consumption
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