Congressman Jim Bridenstine Hosting Town Hall on Global Energy Security with Azerbaijani Ambassador
Washington, DC, April 7, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Ambassador from Azerbaijan to the United States is joining U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine for a town hall in Tulsa Sunday afternoon, April 13th. In light of the Ukrainian crisis, Ambassador Elin Suleymanov and the Congressman will highlight the linkage of energy security to global political stability.
Oklahoma has a special relationship with Azerbaijan, one of the countries striving to maintain independence as Vladimir Putin tries to expand Russian influence in former Soviet states. The Oklahoma National Guard is paired with Azerbaijan in a “State Partnership Program” wherein senior military officers exchange knowledge and capabilities and build relationships for long term stability. Azerbaijani soldiers are currently fighting shoulder to shoulder with American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Azerbaijan, formerly a part of the Soviet Union, is wedged between Russia and Iran. Azerbaijan ranks 21st in the world in proven oil reserves and 26th in gas according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Azerbaijan’s government reports that oil production more than tripled since 2000 to almost one million barrels per day. With an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, Azerbaijan is well positioned to provide energy security for our European allies.
Rather than opt for centralized, state-controlled energy development, Azerbaijan became the first country to open the Caspian to U.S. and other Western energy companies. Western energy firms are major partners in Caspian resource exploration and production and also development of an expanding pipeline network.
“Azerbaijan has taken great risks to achieve political independence from Russia and pursue a secure energy future. It is utilizing western companies, free markets, and private capital to conduct Caspian Sea-based energy exploration and distribution,” Congressman Bridenstine said. “Azerbaijan’s wise decision will enhance energy security for European countries. Azerbaijan is evidence that the private sector has capacity to provide energy security for our allies and friends. This will help to avoid another Ukrainian-type crisis.”
What: Public Town Hall on Energy Security and Global Political Stability
When: Sunday, April 13th, 3:00-4:30pm
Where: OU Tulsa, Schusterman Learning Center, Perkins Auditorium, 4502 East 41st Street (41st & Yale), Tulsa, OK
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