BP signs MoU to further support education in Azerbaijan

7 December 2009

BP Azerbaijan today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Baku-based Qafqaz University to further support education in Azerbaijan. The MOU provides an opportunity for broadening the university’s scope to cover undergraduate education in chemical, petroleum, and mechanical engineering disciplines.

It is intended that the project will be implemented in three phases with phase 1 targeting at establishing the chemical engineering department. Following the successful progress of Phase 1 the project will develop into Phases 2 and 3, and these will aim at creating the petroleum engineering and mechanical engineering departments.

“What we are launching today is only the first step in a potential long- term relationship between BP and the Qafqaz University. We believe the most important part of the project is that it opens exciting opportunities for students from Azerbaijan and possibly from broader Caspian region to receive international standard education without having to leave the country. By committing to work closely with the university BP offers Azerbaijan’s future engineers a unique opportunity to share its knowledge and expertise which are one of the best in the world. We believe the graduates from this new department together with other representatives of future generation of engineers could potentially become a driving force to develop Azerbaijan’s chemical and related industries to international levels”, said Rashid Javanshir, President of BP Azerbaijan, in his address to the MOU-signing ceremony held today at the Qafqaz University.

Under the MOU BP will provide funding for laboratories and related materials required for setting-up the three new departments as well as their accreditation. Other BP-offered opportunities under the MOU will include inviting students from the these departments to apply for BP’s existing internship programmes at national and international levels and take part in recruitment processes on equal basis with others; working with the university on the possibility of joint scholarship schemes; inviting BP experts to contribute to university’s engineering programmes through sharing their knowledge and experience in regular seminars and conferences; providing access to BP’s relevant laboratories to increase students’ exposure to the industry.

The implementation and progress of the project will be reviewed every six months by a steering committee comprising an equal number of principal representatives from BP and the university.

Notes to Editors:

BP on behalf of its co-venturers also operates an annual Azerbaijan Oil and Gas Graduate Scholarship Programme which provides scholarships to qualified Azerbaijani citizens to pursue oil and gas studies at reputable international and national universities. The programme was launched in 2001. To date as part of this major initiative about 100 bright young Azerbaijanis have received BP and co-venturers’ scholarships to undertake studies in the USA, UK, Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan. 

BP also has a Bursary Programme as part of the company’s long-term commitment to Azerbaijan’s successful future. The BP Bursary Programme was first launched in 2007 and is geared towards scholars interested in pursuing oil and gas related studies in Azerbaijan. To date 100 university students who are specializing in petroleum engineering and geosciences at Azerbaijan’s State Oil Academy have been enrolled in the programme. 

In 2008, BP sponsored the establishment of Basin Modeling Centre at the Geology Institute of Azerbaijan (GIA). The centre brings the most advanced geological modeling capability into the GIA allowing for subsurface modeling of the challenging and unique South Caspian Basin. This centre brings together a full range of related disciplines from geology, geophysics, geochemistry and biostratigraphy in order to improve understanding of Azerbaijan’s near-shore and onshore hydrocarbon potential. 

In November 2009 BP launched a new Geosciences and Engineering Speaker Series (BPGESS) initiative in Azerbaijan to enhance commitment by future generations of engineers to promoting geosciences and other related disciplines. The project provides students and academia in the areas of geology, geophysics, and engineering disciplines a good opportunity to meet, talk and engage with scientists and practitioners in these fields. As part of the new initiative BP will hold monthly sessions at Azerbaijan State Oil Academy inviting speakers of national and international scale to lead the discussions. BP will also share its own best-practices in relevant areas through leading conversations about recent developments in science and application of scientific trends to the industry


For further information please contact:
Tamam Bayatly, BP Baku Press office, telephone:      994 (0) 12 599 4557