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headlines from the caspian: february 13, 2024

Headlines from the Caspian: February 13, 2024

Author: Caspian Policy Center


Image source: securityoutlines.cz

Energy and Economy


BP Plans to Drill 18 Wells in the Caspian in 2024

BP-Azerbaijan has announced its plans to drill 18 wells at the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field block (ACGG) in 2024, said Jim O’Liri, vice president of BP for wells in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey. Of these wells, 12 will be production wells, three will be water-injection wells, two will be gas-injection wells, and one will be part of the deep-gas project. According to O’Liri, in 2023, the company at the ACG block drilled 17 wells, including 9 production wells.

Source: Caspian Barrel

Capacity Expansion Announced for the IGB Pipeline

On February 6, operators of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) awarded a Bulgarian company with the contract for GMS2 Stara Zagora, which would allow capacity expansion of the IGB pipeline. IGB is an extension of the Southern Gas Corridor, allowing Azerbaijani natural gas to reach Bulgaria. The capacity of the pipeline is anticipated to expand from 3 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 5 bcm by Q4 2025.

Source: Caspian Barrel

Security and Politics


Georgia Names New Prime Minister

The Parliament of Georgia approved the nomination of the new Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze on February 8. Kobakhidze, 45, has become the seventh prime minister of the Georgian Dream Party. This comes shortly after the resignation of former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. 

Source: News.am

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev Reelected in Snap Election

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan was officially reelected for another term on February 7 with 92.12% of the vote. Aliyev will now hold the presidency for seven more years. Aliyev announced that he wanted this election to “mark the beginning of a new era” in which newly liberated areas could participate in voting.

Source: USNews

Japarov Releases Open Letter to U.S. Secretary of State

On February 12, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov released an open letter on Facebook directed toward U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. In the letter, Japarov accused the United States of “interfering” in the internal affairs of Kyrgyzstan. The letter was written in response to Secretary Blinken expressing concern over ongoing discussions of a bill that would classify some non-governmental organizations as “foreign agents.” A similar bill drew controversy last year in Georgia.

Source: RFE/RL

State Department Hosts Inaugural C5+1 Critical Minerals Dialogue

On February 8, the U.S. Department of State hosted the first C5+1 Critical Minerals Dialogue (CMD) to discuss the region’s potential for greater involvement in the global critical minerals market —a follow-up meeting after the September 19, 2023, C5+1 Presidential Summit in New York. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt moderated along with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asian Affairs John Mark Pommersheim. Officials from the five Central Asian countries expressed enthusiasm for working to invest in this sector. 

Source: U.S. Department of State 

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister: Russia seeks “Normalization with Georgia”

In a February 11 interview with Russian state media, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin stated that “Russia intends to further facilitate the normalization of ties with Georgia.” He cited the resumption of commercial flights between the two countries, a new visa-free regime for Georgians hoping to enter Russia, and positive economic developments as evidence this could be accomplished without establishing formal diplomatic relations. He went on to praise the current Georgian government for its “pragmatism.”

Source: Civil.ge

World Bank Announces Initiative to Research Declining Caspian Sea Levels

The World Bank announced it will facilitate a research initiative to study the Caspian Sea levels' decline. In the coming 18 months, experts from HR Wallingford will analyze data from past studies on the Caspian Sea, as well as findings from regional climate models. The insights and suggestions derived from this research will inform future projects aimed at the renovation and enhancement of infrastructure and equipment at the Aktau port. 

Source: Astana Times

Sources: Astana Times, Civil.ge, Caspian Barrel, News.am, Reuters, RFE/RL, The Telegraph, U.S. Department of State, USNews, Yahoo!Finance

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