In the last decade of the twentieth century, the oil and gas resources of the Caspian basin and also those of Russia created a new opportunity for the energy world markets. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s opened suddenly the doors of vast oil and gas resources located in its geographical space to multi-national oil companies. Since then, these companies began some vast efforts to enter into these regions. In their efforts, they were politically supported by western countries.

In the new literature of international relation, Eurasia encompasses a region ranging from the east of Europe to the northwest of China. Its most important characteristics is its territoriality and limited access to high seas. This has led to the one of the most important problems facing Eurasian oil and gas producing countries and also their Western partners in the framework of the determination of the transfer route of oil and gas resources to the world markets. In this geographical space which links the east and the west of the world, at least two major energy zones could be distinguished: Russia's oil and gas resources including those of Western Siberia, Ural and Caspian basin.

During the Soviet era, although more than 7 million barrels oil were produced from resources located in Ural and Western Siberian fields, due to the fact that more than a half of USSR's exports were allocated to the eastern bloc countries, these resources had not a determining role in the world energy equations. During this period, Caspian oil resources did not attract much attention for different reasons including easy exploitation of Western Siberian oil resources, lack of necessary technology for extracting oil from deeper wells in the region or exploring and exploiting oil resources located in the continental shelf.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a combination of political and economic motivations transformed Eurasian energy into one of the most important issues of world energy market. Russia's use of energy as a leverage to reach some of its political objectives as well as Western countries' struggle to monopolize regional resources and their transfer routes, replaced economic logic with political disputes in many instances.

Given the importance and complexities of energy issue in Eurasia, the present collection tries to review the various dimensions of this subject. Along these lines, its first article entitled "Eurasian Energy", while presenting some analyses about the energy world market and energy security, studies the status of Eurasian energy in the cycle of oil and gas supply and demand at the world level. This article argues that Eurasian energy attracted increasingly the attention of world markets, particularly after the September 11 events and war against terrorism by Western countries in the recent decade which have made energy security a more significant issue.

The second article entitled "Russia: Energy Superpower", while analyzing the energy issue in Russia, studies its behavior in the energy world market and its policies for exploiting energy leverage in its political interactions.

The article "Caspian Oil and Gas: Conflicting Interests, surveys efforts made by regional and extra-regional actors in the Caspian basin in the framework of issues related to extraction, exploitation and transfer of regional resources". The next article entitled "The Flow of Energy from the Caspian Sea Is Still Difficult" studies the difficulties related to the transportation and traffic of ships in Volga-Don Channel.

The fifth article of this collection, entitled "Challenges Facing Iran in the Caspian Sea", analyzes the obstacles facing Iran to play an active role in the issues related to the Caspian Sea from a political and legal standpoint. The next article "Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline" studies the consequences of its opening for the region and energy world market.

The article "Energy Partnership between Russia and the European Union" explores economic and strategic ties between Russia and the EU focusing on energy relations between Russia and Europe. Finally, the article "Turkey – Energy Bridge" reviews Turkey's efforts to become the main route for transferring Eurasian energy resources.

Table of Contents

- Preface

- Eurasian Energy/ Dr Mahmood Vaezi /

- Russia: Energy Superpower / Behnaz Asadikia/

- Caspian Oil and Gas: Conflicting Interests/ Mahmood Shoori/

- The Flow of Energy from the Caspian Sea is Still Difficult/ Dr Abbas Maleki/

- Challenges Facing Iran in the Caspian Sea/ Dr Mohammad Firoozian/

- The Opening of Baku – Ceyhan Pipeline and Its Consequences for the Region and the World/ Dr Baharam Amirahmadian/

- Energy Partnership between Russia and the European Union/ Dr Davood kirani/

- Turkey-Energy Bridge/Translated by Hassan Naghdinejad /