The success of projects in the Caspian region depends, in part, on the operators’ ability to create tangible benefits from these projects for the people of the region. To achieve this, bp and its co-venturers continue to implement major social investment projects, which include educational programmes, building skills and capabilities in local communities, improving access to social infrastructure in communities, supporting local enterprises through provision of access to finance and training, support for cultural legacy and sport, as well as technical assistance to public institutions.
In the first half of 2023, bp and its co-venturers in the bp-operated joint ventures spent more than $1 million in Azerbaijan on social investment projects. This included 13 educational projects, four programmes in support of local capacity-building and enterprise development and one environmental initiative.
bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that it operates) will continue their social investment initiatives in support of local capacity-building and enterprise development throughout Azerbaijan to assist the country in strengthening its economy.
Some examples of such projects in Azerbaijan are:
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) has been supporting for six years a large group of 11th grade students in their efforts to prepare for higher education. The participants of the project called ‘Build your Future’ are selected from disadvantaged families. The project activities include two components – academic knowledge and social integration. In total, some 409 young people out of 482 participants in the programme over the past six years (85%) have been successful meeting the requirements of the higher school entrance exams and becoming students. Based on the results and overall success of this initiative, bp and its co-venturers have decided to continue the project into the 2022-2023 academic year. During the first half of 2023, 65 participants of the new phase continued their training and benefitted from the psychological support sessions provided as part of the project.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is implementing a project in support of developing youth entrepreneurship in rural areas including communities in the Samukh, Yevlakh and Agdash districts. This initiative is based on a three-stage development programme. Stage 1 aims will select business-oriented young people from low-income families and train them in preparation for their future business activities. Once properly trained, the participants will enter stage 2 during which they will receive necessary equipment and tools required for them to start their small businesses. At stage 3, the project participants will continue to receive support from the project through a mentorship programme that will help them efficiently use the knowledge, skills and equipment provided by the project.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) successfully completed a project which promoted an innovative, entrepreneurial and startup-oriented environment in local universities. The project consisted of two components – mentoring and incubation. The mentoring component included preparing university teachers for acting as mentors to students to develop their entrepreneurial and startup skills. The incubation component provided an opportunity for 728 students from 13 local universities to discover their entrepreneurial potential through a six-month incubation programme. This programme enabled the participants to progress their initial startup ideas into final presentable projects based on the entrepreneurship, creative and other critical skills they had learned.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) launched a new educational project aimed at enhancing the knowledge of English and developing innovative teaching skills of a group of 70 teachers of Ganja universities.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a new project covering Ganja, Dashkasan, Tovuz, Agstafa, Goranboy, Samukh and Shamkir. The project scope includes specific training for autism and therapeutic sport specialists, volunteers and other groups of people involved in the assessment, diagnosis, rehabilitation and therapy of autism, followed by practical sessions.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a project aiming to create an online educational platform for digital innovative entrepreneurship to enhance the educational capacity of local universities and support students in establishing sustainable businesses. Preparation of the training materials is ongoing and the web platform development has started.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is implementing a project in support of the integration and expansion of professional inclusive educational programmes through the Learning Management System technology. Project aims to adapt CHED (Childhood Health, Education and Social Development) and ‘Mektebim’ courses delivery into an online model and place all related training content into this new model, as well as to build in customer relations mechanisms which will help monitor and evaluate the outcomes of training. Preparation of the training materials is currently in progress and the development of the web platform has started.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a two-year environmental project aiming to offset carbon emissions through preventing soil erosion and desertification. As part of the project, 250,000 new trees will be planted, and maintenance support will be provided to look after 110,000 already planted trees in the Shamkir and Samukh districts. In addition, an innovative tree planting system with water-preserving equipment and layer planting technique will be created on the selected one-hectare territory in the Gobustan district. To date, the project has completed the planting of 50,200 trees in Samukh, 170,000 in Shamkir and 1,000 trees in Gobustan. Land preparation for planting of around 30,000 trees and maintenance of the already planted trees is ongoing.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) successfully completed a project aiming to support the development of an inclusive education model in physical education and its application by the Azerbaijan State Academy of Physical Education and Sport for the benefit of students with special needs. As part of the project, a group of international experts assessed the level of inclusivity in physical education and developed recommendations for the Academy. Based on this, an adaptive physical educational programme was developed jointly by international and local experts, and the Academy has already started integrating this programme into its education process.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is funding a project to support the demographic forecasting and planning initiatives of the government. The project includes the provision of training for employees of the public sector, and production of population forecasts covering the country`s economic regions and administrative districts. The project team comprising of local and international specialists, has started the assessment of the data of population census results, processing of geospatial data to construct maps and cartograms, as well as merged the district-level data to create economic region-level maps.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a project aimed at enhancing the local Mediation Council`s capability to effectively process disputes raised by individuals and legal entities on commercial, labor and family matters. As part of the project, a web-based solution has been developed to help the Mediation Council process a growing number of disputes.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) launched a project which aims to support the introduction of the entrepreneurship education at secondary schools. Within the project, 600 teachers will advance their pedagogical skills in teaching the entrepreneurship. In addition, module-based entrepreneurship learning resources with the financial literacy component will be developed for the grades 8, 9 and 10.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a project contributing to the development of national IT professionals within the ‘Technest’ scholarship education programme initiated by the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport in 2021. This project aims to help some 143 participants from low-income families get necessary skills in various IT areas to meet the demand in the labour market and contribute to the digital development in the country. Currently, the project is progressing with training sessions in such fields as cybersecurity, programming and graphic design.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is supporting a project designed to promote inclusive educational culture at high schools. The project covers 24 schools selected from across the country including Baku, Sumgayit, Shirvan, Ganja, Absheron, Guba, Sheki, Gazakh, Khachmaz, Gabala and Aghjabadi. It aims to enhance around 250 schoolteachers` theoretical knowledge and practical skills in inclusive education through a specifically developed training programme, which is currently under development.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) is funding a project to support development of community-based agricultural tourism in the Tovuz district. The initiative aims to create income generation and employment opportunities for selected low-income families in the region. The project scope includes training for the staff of seven selected agro-tourism service providers - 20 people in total, provision of equipment and tools, refurbishment support, if required, and mentorship.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) launched a project to support cyber ecosystem through providing the labour market with qualified IT and cyber specialists. The initiative aims to train 60 students from local universities in cyber essentials and cyber security creating more employment opportunities for them.
- bp (on behalf of its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan) launched a project aiming to help the war affected people in the Tovuz and Agstafa regions build sustainable livelihoods. The project will provide psycho-social and legal assistance, as well as organize a networking (social integration) camp for war affected people. To date, more than 50 people have benefitted from this project.
In addition, in the first quarter of 2023, bp alone spent around $0.3 million on various social and sponsorship projects in Azerbaijan.
Some examples of these include:
- translation from English into Azerbaijani and publication of 14 academic textbooks on startup and innovation, corporate finance, marketing, social research, international relations, economic policy, managerial economics, statistics for business and economics, econometrics, psychology and information security. This project aims to enhance the quality of teaching in 16 disciplines at over 15 local universities.
- establishment of the olive grove comprised of over 1,500 trees in the area near the Shongar waste management site. The project aimed to contribute to the prevention of soil erosion, reduction of dusting in the air and enhancement of environmental protection of the area.
- support for the development of Azerbaijan’s national sport by extending bp’s decade-long partnership with Azerbaijan’s National Olympic and Paralympic Committees until the end of 2024.
- establishment of the digital library at the Azerbaijan Technical University.
- support for the establishment of the dual master’s degree programme in renewable energy at the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University.
- funding of 15 talented Azerbaijani nationals’ training to prepare them for admission to leading international universities.
- support to the ‘Women in STEM’ festival to promote STEM and encourage young girls to join the STEM fields. The event featured speeches from STEM experts and government representatives, a job fair for youngsters and various master classes on STEM for kids.
- sponsorship of the IADC Drilling Caspian 2023 conference and exhibition. The event brought together industry leaders and drilling professionals to discuss challenges and share best practices in this field.
- support to the ‘Scientists of tomorrow’ XII national competition. The event aimed at developing scientific potential of the youth by exposing them to different scientific research activities.
- support to the ‘EY Entrepreneur of The Year’ business awards competition encouraging entrepreneurship and recognizing the achievements of inspiring businesspersons.
- support to the 4th AmCham ‘Ethics and Compliance in Azerbaijan’ conference. A group of ethics and compliance (E&C) experts from bp’s Baku office joined the conference and shared the company’s best practices in effectively managing E&C related matters.
- support to the ‘Women's Agenda’ event organized by the ‘FemACT’ Azerbaijan Women’s Fund. The event brought together a number of women organizations, government officials and international partners to discuss gender equality, women empowerment and leadership.
- support to a three-day engineering bootcamp where bp employees shared their knowledge and experience in the oil and gas industry with Azerbaijani students. A group of bp employees provided training sessions on petroleum engineering, low carbon and agility for 32 students from three local universities, focusing on the practical application of theoretical knowledge in these areas. The students received bp internal certificates upon the completion of the bootcamp.
- sponsorship of the ‘The Foreign Policy Priorities of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev’ international conference organized by the Center of Analysis of International Relations and the Academy of the Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
- co-hosting together with SOCAR of the 'SPE Workshop: Sand Management from Pore to Process' event in Baku. The workshop aimed to bring together oil and gas experts and research professionals to share experience and brainstorm ways to solve diverse challenges faced by the industry in sand producing plays.
- sponsorship of the Caspisnet annual meeting called ‘The Caspian Sea features: the science – policy – practice interface in perspective’. The aim of the workshop was to continue and accelerate CASPISNET’s work for sustainable development of the Caspian Sea region.
- sponsorship of the Caspian Oil and Gas exhibition and Baku Energy Forum, now known as Baku Energy Week.
- support to the Azerbaijan Business Case Competition 2023. The purpose of the competition was to create a practical environment for students to develop their business analysis and presentation skills for preparing them to become future business leaders of the country.
- sponsorship of the 5th International Scientific Conference of Economics and Management researchers organized by the Azerbaijan State Economic University in Baku.
Tamam Bayatly at bp’s press office in Baku.
Telephone: (+994 12) 525 58 95