The United States is committed to helping the countries of Central Asia develop strong, democratic institutions and create win-win solutions in developing energy resources, top U.S. officials told members of a House International Relations subcommittee in a July 25 hearing, Trend reports.
The countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia find that their energy export strategies and security needs are intertwined, said Steven Mann, the U.S. State Departments principal deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asian affairs.
Also testifying was Lana Ekimoff, director of the U.S. Department of Energys Office of Russian and Eurasian Affairs, who said that by 2010, countries in the region expect to export up to 4 million barrels of oil and 680 million cubic meters of natural gas per day.
The availability of Caspian oil and gas still helps to diversify global energy supply, which ultimately contributes to global energy security, she said. Ekimoff added that the full potential of the regions energy resources remains unknown.
Our goal, said Ekimoff, is to promote regional partnerships among the producing and transit countries. It is important that the countries take responsibility for encouraging the development of new commercially viable export routes and find ways they can work together and with commercial entities in order to create a win-win situation for all involved.
The completion of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium pipeline, which transports Kazakhstans oil to the Russian Black Sea port at Novorossiysk, as well as the July 13 opening of the $3.9 billionBaku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, which transports oil from Azerbaijan to Turkeys Mediterranean coast for export, are signal successes of the multiple pipeline policy the United States has encouraged in the region, Mann said.
With future plans to link oil and gas lines from Kazakhstan to the BTC, countries in the region are beginning to have more and better export options, said Mann.