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13th August 2018 - Iran and four ex-Soviet nations have agreed in principle how to divide up the potentially huge oil and gas resources of the Caspian Sea, paving way for more energy exploration and pipeline projects, although the delimitation of the seabed will require additional agreements. For almost three decades, the five littoral states - Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan - have argued over how to divide the world’s biggest enclosed body of water.  While some countries have pressed ahead with large offshore projects, such as the Kashagan oil field off Kazakhstan’s coast, disagreement over the sea’s legal status has prevented some other ideas from being implemented. “We have established 15-mile-wide territorial waters whose borders become state borders,” Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev told a briefing after signing the Caspian convention in Aktau, Kazakhstan yesterday.  “Adjacent to the territorial waters are 10 miles of fishing water where each state has exclusive fishing rights,” he said.  Nazarbayev also said the convention explicitly barred any armed presence on the Caspian Sea other than that of the littoral states.

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