An overall agreement on the Caspian's borders has eluded the five Caspian countries since 1991, slowing the development of energy resources in the region.
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia have reached their own accord, but Iran and Turkmenistan have not signed that.
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HOW MUCH OIL? The U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated that the Caspian could hold between 17 billion and 33 billion barrels of proven oil. ("Proven reserves" are defined by energy experts to be 90 percent probable.) Other experts estimate the Caspian could hold "possible reserves" of up to 233 billion barrels of oil. ("Possible reserves" are considered to be 50 percent probable.) By comparison, Saudi Arabia has 261 billion barrels of oil and the United States 23 billion...(more)