Russia's position as a major energy supplier has great significance not only for its foreign policy but for its relationships with major energy consuming countries. The nature of Russia's future geopolitical role in world energy markets has become a major concern of international energy security with important implications for Europe, Japan and the United States. Given a range of economic and geopolitical uncertainties, the fate of Russian and Caspian natural gas exports remains a major risk factor in global energy supply. In this study, researchers examine several scenarios for Russian and Caspian oil and natural gas production, possible export routes, and the geopolitics involved.
Russia is among the world's most important oil and natural gas producers and has the potential to enhance its status as a global natural gas supplier given its large proven reserves. The country also controls through geography or geopolitics the major pathways for the export of oil and natural gas from the hydrocarbon rich Caspian countries, which include Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan and, to a lesser extent, Uzbekistan.