"The 'great game' of the 19th and early 20th centuries involved Britain's attempt to keep other great powers from establishing a foothold in Central Asia that could threaten Britain's interest in India. The new 'great game' involves players such as Iran, Turkey, Russia, and the United States vying for influence over the Caspian region and its oil supplies. For the United States and European countries, Caspian oil presents an opportunity to tap a source of oil outside the often turbulent Middle East. The three main oil producing Caspian countries (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan) are landlocked and rely on neighboring countries for access to western markets through pipelines. This adds another aspect to the competition for economic and political dominance of the area. The actors are not only concerned with oil and gas production but also with the pipelines that deliver those resources to market."
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