“Sardar” or “Kapaz”

About 20 years Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan conduct dispute on “Kapaz” gas field. Turkmenistan side puts claim on gas field. But Azerbaijan side strongly insists that “Kapaz” in the internal territory of country. Also turkmenian experts were named this gas field “Sardar”.

The gas field was found on Soviet period (1989), but another source show  1959. At first gas field was announced as a neutral because it was in the center of Caspian Sea. After Collapse of USSR, former Soviet countries had to solve the jurisdiction problem of Caspian sea,which has not solve yet. The main argues Azerbaijani-Turkmeni relations started around the most richest oil fields “Khazar” (Azeri) , “Osman” (Chirag), “Sardar” (Kapaz). Baku according to the soviet  maps during it’s exploition of the oil fields. Turkmenistan demands from Azerbaijan to use an international law practice.

Stocks of  “Sardar”, in opinion of experts is 50 to 100 million tons of oil and 32 billion cubic meter of gas. When the Russian oil company LUKOil has signed co-operation contract in 1997 about “Sardar” gas field , Azerbaijan gave an official protest. After this incident LukOil and RosNeft banned this project. In 2005 Canadian oil company “Buried Hill Energy” has signed new contract to exploit “Kapaz” but after official meetings with SOCAR, company “postpone” project date.

In 2001, Ashgabad has closed his embassy in Baku. Bilateral relations became very dangerous. Azerbaijan former President Heydar Aliyev in a Caspian Sea summit, told about new gas field “Kapaz” and it’s positive opportunities for country economy. After this speech Turkmenian former president Saparmurad Niyazov made a citation that “H.Aliyev’s speech “smells as a blood in Caspian Sea”.

In new turkmenian President Qurbangolu Berdimohamed, relations became much more warm. In 2008 problem of “turkmenian duty” was solved, in may President Mohamed made an official visit to Baku. Both of presidents determined to stop exploition works in the field – till the status of Caspian Sea will solve.

But,suddenly in 2009 Turkmenia demands indermnity for oil fields (Azeri,Chiragly)  exploited by Azerbaijan. President Gurbangolu has invited famous law experts to research the problem. When the experts were finished researches, It was clear out that Ashgabad has  not signed a number of the international conventions and consequently its statement in the international court have not accepted.

The main case of argue has occused in 2012, june. the Turkmenian ship, intending to approach to a disputable site of Caspian sea, has been stopped by the Azerbaijan border guards. Azerbaijan MFA gave an ultimatium to Turkmenistan ambassador. Today Turkmenia continues to threatened Azerbaijan with an international court of UN.

All the Caspian basin countries has made official meeting 28 times, for Caspian future status , but the community still couldnt get result. There is a risk that struggle for gas fields could transform to military problem. In 2009 Turkmenistan has declared intention to create on Caspian sea a naval flotilla, and Iran, in turn, declared in a  days plans to replace in the sea  submarines.


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