From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Armenia's Oil, Gas Reserves to Be Assessed: Announcing a potential new foreign market for California energy technology, Armenia, the U.S. and California have agreed to conduct a resource assessment of the new democracy's energy potential. Part of the agreement gives preference to U.S. companies to provide personnel and equipment for exploration and production. It was signed by Armenian Energy Minister Steve Tashjian--a Southern Californian of Armenian ancestry, on leave from Southern California Edison. Charles Imbrecht, chairman of the California Energy Commission, said the commission estimates that $2 billion to $4 billion in business will likely be generated, much of it going to California companies.

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