The impact of oil and oil-related interests has been subject of much speculation concerning the youngest emerging geopolitical oil bloc that stretches between the Black and Aral Seas. Its impact on economic, social and political conditions and development for the next century holds implications that reach from the Caspian heartland to the world's most distant shores. This book is the first attempt to present an exhaustive overview of the origins and development of the Caucaso-Caspian oil and gas industry. It also includes pointers on how oil '- and, to a lesser extent, gas '- has developed from a mere commodity into a potent stratego-political tool. Here historical data is also used to help analyse the way how the commercial role of oil in the light of world market developments relates to its political value in the eyes of local Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Kazakh powerbrokers as well as their Russian, Turkish, European and American counterparts. It is hoped that Oil and Gas in the Caucasus & Caspian will help place the region in its rightful global perspective and contribute to a better understanding of the tensions and their causes ever-present in a part of the world that is as promising as it is threatening.