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peace and oil
[nvusa 9/25/2001]

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Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes proposed multi-billion-dollar oil and gas export pipelines through Afghanistan, although these plans have now been thrown into serious question (see below for more detail)....

On December 8, 1998, Unocal announced that it was withdrawing from the Centgas consortium, citing low oil prices and turmoil in Afghanistan as making the pipeline project uneconomical and too risky. Unocal's announcement followed an earlier statement -- in August 1998 -- that the company was suspending its role in the Afghanistan gas pipeline project in light of the recent U.S. government military action in Afghanistan, and also due to intensified fighting between the Taliban and opposition groups. Unocal had previously stressed that the Centgas pipeline project would not proceed until an internationally recognized government was in place in Afghanistan. To date, however, only three countries -- Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates -- have recognized the Taliban government.
   --A Briefing from the Department of Energy (Dec., 2000). Mirrored onsite.

Kazakhstan is one of the three key producers of oil in the Caspian sea region together with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. This region, which surrounds the world's largest inland sea, is estimated to contain as much as 200 billion barrels of oil alone plus another 100 billion barrels' worth of gas under the Kara Kum Desert and other sites. At average price levels for the 1990s, that adds up to a treasure chest of roughly US$5 trillion.

Chevron has just completed five years of operations at the Tengiz offshore oil fields in the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan. Supporting them in their efforts is Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev, a former member of Soviet Politburo and a private security company called Alpha whose members are culled from the crack commando forces of the former KGB.
   --Project Underground (1998? ). See map.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Sept. 7, 2001 -- Chevron Corp. and Texaco Inc. today confirmed that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a consent order that will allow the two companies to complete their previously announced merger.
   --Press Release (

In 1995, after a stint at the American Enterprise Institute, Cheney became the CEO of Halliburton, which does business in at least 100 countries. In 1998, Business Week reported that Cheney had been "courting politicians and business leaders through the booming Caspian Sea region in an all-out effort to secure key political ties with Azerbaijan and Kazakstan. Accounting for the world's third-largest oil reserves, the region is Cheney's best hope to secure big contracts for a long time to come." Cheney has succeeded. Along with the heads of Chevron and Texaco Inc., Cheney sits on Kazakstan's Oil Advisory Board, which serves as a sounding board for the country's president.
   --The Public I (Center for Public Integrity: March 15, 2000).
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