Remarks by Under Secretary Stuart Eizenstat on Caspian Energy Development and US Interests, 23 October 1997

As a consumer nation, the United States is interested in enhancing and diversifying global energy supplies. It is the Clinton Administration's policy to promote rapid development of Caspian energy resources to reinforce Western energy security. In the longer term the scale of Caspian basin energy resources not only justifies -- but will demand -- multiple transportation options for moving production out into world markets. Multiple pipelines will prompt competition, will ensure reliable, more efficient operations, and will promote commercial viability. The U.S. supports a pipeline route from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Ceyhan, Turkey, as one of multiple routes. We recognize, however, that any pipeline will only be built if it is a commercially viable option for shippers...

U.S. policy in the region is not an attempt to establish a U.S. sphere of influence in the region. Rather, U.S. policy stresses the importance of establishing a commercial basis for development and common benefits to be reaped. We see wide-ranging benefits to regional-actors (excluding Iran) from cooperative commercial development and transportation of Caspian energy resources. Currently, all existing export routes for Caspian energy travel north through Russia to Europe. Russia has very strong commercial and political interests in continuing to be a major transshipment point for the region's energy resources. For that to happen, Russia must address commercial concerns regarding reliability, security, transparency,, competitive tariffs, and access. Furthermore, as the developing markets of Asia attract oil and gas from the Caspian, additional market factors will influence the development of export routes for Caspian hydrocarbons...

Caspian energy development is not a zero sum game -- all the new states can benefit from the region's rapid economic development. Establishment of a Caspian legal regime which resolves concerns about property rights and sovereignty will promote large scale investment in the region. Increased oil and gas exploration and production will spur the pace of pipeline construction and connect new markets to secure energy supplies. Producer and transit countries will earn fees in much needed-hard currency which can be used for capital investment in other sectors of their economies. Improvement in the overall economy and prosperity of the region will translate into a boom in demand for goods and services throughout the NIS and provide added social benefits. And cooperation between domestic and foreign companies will foster the transfer of skills and technology -- a winning combination for all concerned. Most of all, strong, growing economies can become the foundation for long-term stable, democratic governments in the region.

Remarks by Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of State for Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy J. Wolf on Caspian Energy Diplomacy, Almati, 4 October 2000

The transportation corridor I describe isn't just a means for moving oil. The security and stability it portends are prerequisites for securing and sustaining the massive investment needed for Caspian energy projects to proceed. An east-west transportation corridor will bolster the independence and prosperity of the new states of the Caspian, strengthen regional cooperation, and enhance investment opportunities for U.S. and other companies. It also will increase global energy security and benefit international energy markets by providing a safe, new oil export route that reaches world markets directly. The U.S. approach is simple, straightforward, and basically unselfish when compared with the historic efforts of others in the region.

Let me re-emphasize one point. The United States derives no direct economic benefit from any particular pipeline routes. We have no territorial ambitions. Some consider the United States a relative newcomer to the Caspian region. True, but we think that we have brought a needed, new perspective. We and our western partners also have brought new investment, modern business techniques, and environmentally safe technologies that are accelerating the area's development. Our underlying objective is to empower the people and governments of the Caspian region to build sustainable and balanced economic growth; to construct efficient and just government structures; and to acquire the world-class technologies and techniques that will safeguard the Caspian Sea's fragile and long suffering environment.

In short, this empowerment aims to help the region's governments and peoples to make their own decisions about their lives, their political welfare, and their future economic prosperity. Big changes have happened over the past decade; much more still is needed. One parenthetic point -- the work of institution building, and help to people of this region to build modern institutions is not a responsibility of governments alone. You in the private sector need to play a very active role building public/private partnerships. Why, because as you have learned all around the world, it makes enormous business good sense.