The convention seeks to reverse the Caspian's environmental crisis by reducing industrial pollution, protecting indigenous wildlife such as sturgeon, and committing its signatories to cooperating in emergencies.
All five countries bordering the Caspian -- Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan -- have signed up to the convention, the first time they have all signed a treaty relating to the Caspian Sea.
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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)