Just a Reminder

by Nathan Hamm on 6/15/2005 · 8 comments

Uzbekistan does not have “huge oil reserves.” Unless, you know, you consider Italy and 52 other countries with bigger reserves oil giants.

Sorry to be a bitch, but it’s my least favorite and most repeated Uzbekistan mistake (part of the Saddam=Karimov comparison that drives me so batty–I mean, come on, it’s like saying these are the same thing as Shetlands).

P.S. This is not a comment on the rest of the post I’ve linked or Justin himself. Just me venting…

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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jonathan p June 15, 2005 at 2:53 pm

The thing that drives me crazy is the constant references to Uzbekistan as “a valuable ally in the war on terror.” Gimme a break.

david_walther June 16, 2005 at 12:01 am

yeah, i remember nathan well pointed out how that phrase suddenly appeared, as if by command, in every single article on uzbekistan from the u.s. press last month. i wonder if they actually get paid for saying it? but again, it’s the standard you have to compare to: kazakhstan’s 12 soldiers probably also constitute a “valuable ally” in the war on terror. and those two swiss guys.

Nathan June 16, 2005 at 12:08 am

Saves time to just copy from the wire service’s cheat sheets…

If there’s anything I’ve learned from writing for this blog, it’s that the vast majority of journalists know jack shit about the topics they cover. The good ones are great, but there are too few covering Central Asia.

Tim Newman June 16, 2005 at 3:24 am

What those outside of the oil industry appeat to know about the oil industry could be written on stamp. Problem is, everyone is an expert in the oil industry.

I work in the oil and gas industry, right in the heart of Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and Kuwait. There is lots of talk about forthcoming major projects in the Kazakh and Azeri sectors of the Caspian, the opening up of Russia, West Africa, China. I have yet to hear Uzbekistan mentioned once in 2 years of being in the industry and reading its associated journals.

I’m not sure when the penny is going to drop, but Uzbekistan’s oil is a non-issue for anyone outside of Uzbekistan and the Russian companies which are involved.

Tim Newman June 16, 2005 at 3:25 am

Sorry, should say “appear”. And “everyone is an expert ON the oil industry”.

Phil Bailey June 20, 2005 at 6:53 pm

I suppose the fact that Uzbekistan has the fourth largest gold reserves in the world, massive undeveloped gas fields (Tim clearly reads the wrong journals) and sufficient oil to interest foreign companies is also irrelevant?

Enron didn’t think so in ’94 when they were trying to arrange a deal over the Kandym gas field, nor do the UK’s Oxus Gold, busy digging up the stuff right now (no doubt so Karimov can steal it and ship it to the Bank of England, as he has done in the past).

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