OREANDA-NEWS Leaders of five Caspian states will sign a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea at their summit in city of Aktau (Kazakhstan) on August, 12.

The Convention will benefit the oil and gas industry in the region and create a good investment environment for Chinese companies in the long term, said Liu Qian- expert of the Chinese Academy of energy strategy.

On Friday, the Moscow press reported that during  the Fifth Caspian Summit, the presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan are expected to consider the key aspects of cooperation in the Caspian region.

 Work on this question has been carried out since 1996. The unsettled nature of this issue is one of the obstacles to the construction of the TRANS-Caspian gas pipeline, which could deliver Turkmen gas to Europe. China is the main consumer of Turkmen gas now.

Turkmenistan is one of the top four countries of the world on natural gas reserves. Russia, Iran and Qatar are also in the top.

"The signing of the Convention on the legal status will be favorable for the stability and development of the region, as well as for the gas and oil exploration in the region. In long-term prospects, it will create a good investment environment for Chinese companies," Liu Qian said.

The TRANS-Caspian gas pipeline is the state strategy of Turkmenistan to diversify natural gas exports. But the construction of the project is still at the initial stage, whether it will be implemented in the end, of course, is still unknown.

According to the document, each side establishes territorial waters that do not exceed 15 miles in width, measured from the baselines defined by the convention. The outer boundary of territorial waters is the state border. The delimitation of internal and territorial waters between states with adjacent coasts is carried out by agreement between them taking into account the principles and norms of international law.

The countries-participants of the Convention establish a fishing zone with a width of 10  miles, adjacent to the territorial waters. The delineation of fishing zones between states with adjacent coasts is carried out by agreement. In its fishing zone, each country has the exclusive right to fish for aquatic biological resources.

In 2011, the European Union adopted a mandate to negotiate a legally binding Treaty between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on construction of TRANS-Caspian pipeline system. The TRANS-Caspian pipeline agreement will lay the Foundation for the construction of an underwater pipeline connecting Turkmenistan with Azerbaijan.  This pipeline will deliver gas from Central Asia to the EU.