U.S. Military's Role with Petroleum Is to Assure Security
Jun 18, 2012
The Caspian region has a wealth of crude oil and natural gas. Turkey aspires to be a key player in transporting oil and gas from the Caspian area to world markets. This hope is challenged by commercial and regional issues, terrorist threats, and the potential for disruption of tanker traffic in the Bosporus. Helping Turkey build its capacity for pipeline security and maritime disaster response is a promising yet modest area for USAF engagement.
Volume 2, Turkey and the Caspian
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With its sizeable crude oil and natural gas reserves, the Caspian region is poised to become an increasingly important energy supplier to global markets. Competition over the development of Caspian's petroleum and largely untapped natural gas reserves and control over future export routes remains intense. Russia is seeking control over export routes for these oil and gas resources for its own commercial and political ends. But Russian influence is being challenged. New oil pipeline routes to China and to the Mediterranean via Turkey are being built. Turkey aspires to become a key transit state for moving both natural gas and oil from the Caspian region and from the broader Middle East via pipelines crossing its territory. U.S.-Turkish cooperation on energy security issues offers a promising yet modest opportunity to strengthen the bilateral relationship. Continued successful attacks on pipelines within Turkey by Kurdish terrorists suggest pipeline security as a potential area of U.S. Air Force engagement. In the Bosporus, U.S. disaster response capabilities and the lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico could prove useful for helping Turkish civilian and military leaders plan emergency responses to oil spills and other events that could block this critical waterway.
Overview of Current Energy Issues
Key Energy Security Challenges
Threats to Energy Production and Transit Routes
Current U.S. Energy Security Efforts
Potential U.S. Air Force Roles
The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.
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