With billions of dollars and crucial strategic influence at stake, the struggle for control over the vast, strategically important oil resources in the Caucasus and Central Asia is a tale of political intrigue, cut-throat competition, geostraetgic rivalry, ethnic feuding, and a yearning for independence. Straddling Europe, the Near East and Asia, the region is considered one of the largest unexploited sources of oil in the world, with the potential for reserves of up to 200 billion barrels - on a par with Iraq.
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