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Armenia (the Republic of Armenia) in the South Caucasus is bordered by Turkey (west), Georgia (north), Azerbaijan with Nagorno-Karabakh (east), and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan (south).
Inhabited since before 4000 BC, Armenia had become a country by 590 BC and achieved self rule from 189 to 69 BC before being absorbed into a succession of empires. It adopted Christianity around 300 AD. In 1045 it was conquered by Turks followed by repeated invasions from the east.
In 1639 it was split into Eastern Armenia, ruled by Iran, and Western Armenia, ruled by the Ottomans. Massacres of Christian Armenians occurred in the west after 1894, ending in the Armenian Genocide in World War 1 prior to collapse of the Ottoman empire. Eastern Armenia had ceded to Russia in 1828.
After the Russian revolution the country became a republic. Its acquisition of parts of Ottoman Armenia and Turkey led the Soviets to invade and it was annexed (with Georgia and Azerbaijan) into the Soviet Union in 1922, becoming the Armenia SSR in 1936.
The collapse of the USSR in 1991 triggered independence but its support for Nagorno-Karabakh’s secession from Azerbaijan harmed the economy. Trading routes through Iran and Georgia allow exports but the country relies heavily on remittances from Armenians abroad.
Armenia is land-locked, located in the north-east of the Armenian Highlands within the South Caucasus mountain range. The terrain is mostly mountainous rising to 4,090 m at Mount Aragats. No point is below 390 m. Mount Ararat, now in Turkey but once part of Armenia, is the highest mountain in the region.
The South Caucasus (also known as Transcaucasia) is the southern volcanic part of the Caucasus mountain range (Lesser Caucasus) plus its lowlands between the continents of Europe and Asia.
It extends southwards from the Greater Caucasus of southwestern Russia to the Turkish and Armenian borders and from the Black Sea in the west to the Caspian Sea coast of Iran in the east. All of Armenia is in the South Caucasus along with the majority of Georgia and Azerbaijan
Armenia has no identified indigenous oil or gas resources in its mountainous volcanic terrain which is prone to earthquakes. It has been the site of very few exploration wells and Globalshift believes it is unlikely to achieve any production in the future.
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Land area (sq kms)
Oil prod (000s b/d)
Gas prod (bcm/yr)
Oil cons (000s b/d)
Gas cons (bcm/yr)
Armenia is a semi-presidential democratic republic. The President is head of state of a multi-party system.
The unicameral National Assembly is the legislative branch of the government with 131 members elected for 5-year terms.
The government department in Armenia responsible for oil and gas resources is the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources although this ministry is primarily concerned with minerals and power.
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