Today we celebrate the 100th anniversary of our company. Over these 100 years, BP has grown into a multinational company with operations in more than 100 countries around the world. We have accomplished much during this time and BP’s partnership with Azerbaijan has a special place in this history. We are honoured and proud of working together with Azerbaijan, which has its own distinguished 160 year old history in the oil industry.
BP and Azerbaijan embarked on a new history together 15 years ago. Working together with SOCAR, the Government, and partners, we sowed the seeds of a new era in the history of the oil industry in Azerbaijan in 1994.
We are proud to say that the major objectives and projects that were discussed 15 years ago have all been delivered. Offshore platforms have been built on time and our production operations continue to perform well. Sangachal - the largest terminal in the world and our export pipeline systems are all up and running effectively. BTC – once labelled as a pipedream by those who opposed it, today is performing remarkably well. Shah Deniz - has proved to be a world-class giant field and will serve to benefit the people of Azerbaijan for many decades to come. We are now well into realizing the great potential of Azerbaijan’s oil and gas resources. We have already produced more than 1 billion barrels from ACG and more than half of this was shipped by BTC. These successes are a direct result of the strong partnership between the Government, SOCAR, and BP.
These are undoubtedly notable achievements but perhaps even more remarkable is the way in which they have been achieved. All of the facilities have been built to the highest technical and safety standards and with the goal of minimizing the impact on the environment both during the construction and subsequent operations stages.
We have worked hard to ensure that the communities which are our nearest neighbours benefit from our presence. We have undertaken an extensive programme of community investment – rebuilding schools and clinics, developing model farms, providing micro-financing and building capacity to help communities help themselves. The use of local resources has been maximised, creating thousands of jobs and transferring new skills to the local workforce and companies.
Another great achievement is that Azerbaijan was the first country in the world to declare its full support of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2003, when in accordance with your decree, the National Commission on EITI was created. Since then much has been done in terms of transparency in the area of oil revenue management. That is why it is not surprising that in 2008 Azerbaijan became the first EITI compliant state among 25 other candidate countries.
None of this would have been possible without the leadership and support of the government of Azerbaijan. I would like to pay a particular tribute to SOCAR with whom we have forged such a strong partnership to make these projects successful.
As we reflect on history today, we can confidently say that the vision set out by late President Heydar Aliyev has become a reality. We are grateful for Azerbaijan’s strong commitment to this partnership and we are committed to working with Azerbaijan to support and progress the new goals you have set for the energy sector. Efficient and effective implementation of the goals you have outlined will allow Azerbaijan to maintain its regional leadership in the hydrocarbon sector and will create an industry that is capable of supporting the Azerbaijan Republic in a sustainable manner for decades to come.
We are committed to the search for new, large hydrocarbon resources in the Caspian Sea that offer development potential to maintain oil production revenues, support Azerbaijan’s ambition to become a significant gas supplier, and build a strong and capable national oil company.
In a time of a harsh economic downturn that has hit so many countries and companies all over the world, I would like once again on behalf of BP and myself to express our commitment as a major investor and a long-term partner of Azerbaijan.
We look forward to working further in close cooperation with you and your Government in order to see Azerbaijan continue to prosper as a developed country.
We believe that one day we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of successful cooperation between BP and Azerbaijan.
Tamam Bayatly, BP Baku Press office, telephone: +994 12 599 4557