Energy Assets Prominent in Russia’s Annexation of Crimea

Russia‘s May 18, 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine unlocked a potential windfall of energy resources underneath the Black Sea.  Article 4, Section 3 of the document outlining the annexation indicates that international law governs the new boundaries, granting 230 miles of sovereignty off of the peninsula‘s shorelines into the Black and Azov Seas and the rights to any resources underneath.  In 2012, Russia unsuccessfully tried gaining some of these resources in a pact with Ukraine.  Some energy analysts say the resources underneath the Black Sea may rival that of the famed North Sea, discovered in the 1970s, and are potentially worth trillions of dollars.  They reportedly represent some 17 fields in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov that include 11 gas fields, 4 gas condensate fields and 2 oil fields.