The Caspian Sea region is one of the oldest oil-producing areas in the world and is an increasingly important source of global energy production, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) believes.
"The area has significant oil and natural gas reserves from both offshore deposits in the Caspian Sea itself and onshore fields in the region. Traditionally an oil-producing area, the Caspian area's importance as a natural gas producer is growing quickly," EIA said in a report, published on its official website.
According to the EIA's estimations, in 2012 proved and probable reserves within the basins that make up the Caspian Sea and surrounding area amounted to 48 billion barrels of oil and 292 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.
In addition, the report stressed, that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates another 20 billion barrels of oil and 6.88 trillion cubic meters of natural gas as yet undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.
Offshore fields, according to the report, account for 41 percent of total Caspian oil and lease condensate (19.6 billion barrels) and 36 percent of natural gas (about 3 trillion cubic meters).
EIA mentioned that most of the offshore oil reserves are in the northern part of the Caspian Sea, while most of the offshore natural gas reserves are in the southern part of the Caspian Sea.
EIA estimates that the Caspian Sea region produced an average of 2.6 million barrels per day of oil and lease condensate in 2012, around 3.4 percent of the total world supply.
The natural gas production in the Caspian region, according to the EIA's estimations amounted to 79.3 billion cubic meters in 2012, with large portions re-injected back into fields or flared.
"The large amount and dispersed nature of the Caspian natural gas reserves suggest the possibility of significant future growth in production," EIA stressed./Trend/