Accessibility links

Breaking News

Caspian Environmental Treaty Comes Into Force

Oil slicks have regularly resulted in the deaths of seals in recent years (ITAR-TASS) August 12, 2006 -- The first legally-binding agreement on the protection of the Caspian Sea environment comes into force today.

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.


Caspian Energy Special

Caspian Energy Special

For a complete archive of RFE/RL's coverage of energy issues in the Caspian Sea region and Russia, click here.

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)

See also:

Economic Forecast For 2006 Sees Growth, But Danger In Continued High Oil Prices

How Vast Are The Riches In The Caspian?

Experts Envision A Future Beyond Oil