The Newsletter 62 Winter 2012

The Central Eurasian hydrocarbon energy complex

Robert M. Cutler

The focus here is on understanding current developments in the Central Eurasian hydrocarbon energy complex and their relationship to the ‘Southern Corridor’ strategy of the European Union (EU) for insuring energy provisions from the Caspian Sea basin. This essay examines how the circum-Caspian region, in particular western Central Asia and the South Caucasus, are together acting so as to extend a geo-economic energy network from China to the EU. The emphasis is oninfluence and constraint upon choices concerning resource development, and on how those choices feed back into reconfigurations of those international constellations of influence. Regarding Central Asia, it concentrates on the evolution of energy development and export strategy in Turkmenistan; regarding the South Caucasus, it concentrates on Azerbaijan. Due to editorial limitations on length, the discussion is almost entirely on natural gas.

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