After an eventful 2016, the Caspian will enjoy a less volatile year in 2017. Upstream operators and the region's hydrocarbon-dependent economies will be more comfortable in a higher oil price, confident that the toughest days are now behind them. Ramp-up at Kazakhstan's super-giant Kashagan field, which began in 2016, will continue at a strong pace throughout 2017. Regional capital expenditure will be flat, albeit ever more reliant on two of the world's largest post-FID megaprojects: Tengizchevroil (TCO) expansion (Kazakhstan) and Shah Deniz Phase Two (Azerbaijan). Other operators will continue to benefit from much of the cost and efficiency savings of 2015-16.