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The 18th International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition and Conference Incorporating Refining and Petrochemicals, the largest event in the Caspian Region’s oil and gas sector, will take place from 7th to 10th June, 2011, at Baku Expo Centre. The exhibition and conference annually bring together the leading experts and key players in the world’s oil sector to discuss sector-related issues and to showcase the latest achievements in oil and gas production and processing.

The event enjoys the special attention and support of the government of Azerbaijan. The high status of the exhibition is emphasized by the annual participation in its official opening ceremony of H.E. Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan Republic. The Caspian Oil and Gas project is traditionally supported by the Ministry of Industry and Energy of Azerbaijan Republic and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). The exhibition has received the recognition of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, for six consecutive years now. The “UFI Approved Event” status testifies to the compliance of exhibitions with all international standards. Last year the exhibition was granted Brand Award Azerbaijan - 2010 from a nomination in the “Brand of the Year - Exhibitions in Azerbaijan” category.

Among other events in the region’s oil and gas sector, the Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference is distinguished by the attention it receives from high-level guests taking part in the opening ceremony. Leaders of the European Union, United Kingdom, USA and Norway send their letters of welcome to the event. The high-ranking VIP guests attending the exhibition and conference include Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy, Richard Morningstar, the US Secretary of State Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, Alexander Khetaguri, Georgian Minister for Energy, and Ola Borten Moe, Norwegian Minister for Oil and Energy. Representatives of relevant ministries in Azerbaijan, Hungary, Ukraine, Russia and Turkmenistan, as well as the representatives of major oil and gas companies and organisations, will also participate in the event.

This year the Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition will be attended by 285 companies from 27 countries. Exhibitors include national stands from the United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey and Germany. Over 40% of the exhibition space is occupied by globally renowned major state oil and gas companies and corporations, most of which are permanent participants in the Caspian Oil and Gas exhibition, i.e. BP, OMV Gas International GmbH, SOCAR, Statoil, Total, TPAO and many others. What is more gratifying is that the percentage of local participants is growing. This year local companies will account for 38% of the total number of participants. The exhibition space occupied by participants has increased by 25% from last year. New companies at the Caspian Oil and Gas 2011 Exhibition account for 12% of the total number of exhibitors. Around 90 leading media representatives from 11 countries will report on the exhibition and conference.

The exhibition occupies two showrooms at Baku Expo Centre and will demonstrate the latest oil and gas equipment and innovative technologies in oil production and transportation of energy resources, and introduces both ongoing and potential oil and gas projects in Azerbaijan. For the first time last year the exhibition was held in the new and modern exhibition centre, which allowed exhibitors to build more creative stands for the exhibition. Hence, this year a number of companies are using a completely new strategy for exhibition stands, while others, such as Schlumberger and Azfen-Tekfen Alliance, have almost doubled the area of their stands compared to last year.

A broad business programme has been developed for the exhibition and, within its framework, workshops and presentations on wide range subjects, which are relevant to a broad group of representatives from the oil and gas industry, will be conducted by companies during the four days. At the same time, Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition show their care for the younger generation by encouraging children’s creative activity. Hence, a small corner of Baku Expo Centre will become a mini gallery where art students will be able to paint canvases and delight the exhibition visitors with their talents.

The highlight of the business programme will be the 18th International Oil & Gas Conference Incorporating Refining and Petrochemicals that starts on the second day of the exhibition, the 8th June, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel (Conference Room). Over 500 delegates, including high-ranking representatives and key players in the country’s oil and gas sector, as well as VIP delegations from various countries, have been accredited for participation in the conference.

This year is notable because of the high level of interest in the current conference due to the increasing role of Azerbaijan as a leading supplier of energy resources to European and world markets. The first day of the conference will cover the following topics: Caspian Region: the transformation of the world energy market; The role of Azerbaijan in ensuring the energy security of Europe; and The attractiveness of investment in Azerbaijan. The topics to be discussed by the conference delegates on the second day include key exploration and production projects, transportation, new projects, etc. Special attention will be paid to discussion of the acute problems of environmental protection and safety. Drilling and the construction of any oil and gas facilities must take into consideration environmental priorities. For this reason one conference session will present advanced environmental developments and solutions for topical issues surrounding the environmental impact of the oil and gas sector. Thus the conference will give professionals the perfect opportunity to share their experiences and successes and track key trends of development in the oil and gas industry.

A series of publications will be made available to accompany the exhibition and conference, including the official exhibition programme, containing detailed descriptions of the exhibitors, conference materials, speakers’ backgrounds and descriptions of exhibitors’ activities, as well as the official Caspian Oil and Gas newspaper which will offer an up-to-date account of the activities taking place during the exhibition and conference.

The status of the event is also underlined by its sponsors. This year sponsors of the event number 20 companies, including key players in the oil and gas industry, i.e. the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), Baku White City, BP Azerbaijan, Caspian Geophysical, Caspian Pipe Coatings, Conoco Phillips, Cross Caspian Oil and Gas Logistics, DEPA, Edison, Fluenta, GDF SUEZ, Inpex Corporation, McDermott Caspian, Nobel Oil, OMV Gas & Power GmbH, RWE, Statoil, Salans, TAP and Total E&P Azerbaijan.

The partners of 2011 exhibitions are Azerfon-Vodafone, AZAL, Greenwich Travel Club, Caspel and Caucasus Point Hotel.

The organizers of the exhibition include ITE Group Plc., a British Company, and Iteca Caspian, its partner in the Caucasus. The partners of ITE Group Plc., i.e. Iteca Caspian LLC (Azerbaijan), ITE LLC Moscow (Russia), EUF (Turkey), GIMA (Germany), ITE China (PRC), ITE Gulf (UAE) are all actively involved in the project and proactively attract international companies to participate in the Azerbaijani exhibition.

Thus, this year the Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference will once again achieve one of its main goals, i.e. the promotion of global business co-operation. The exhibition and conference have long been perceived by specialists as an integral part of the Caspian energy industry, and one which promotes the intensive exchange of experiences between foreign and national companies and the introduction of advanced technologies. This year the exhibition has coincided with several events significant for the Azerbaijani oil-industry workers. For instance, this year Azerbaijan celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Aga Gurban Aliyev, the legendary oil explorer who made a significant contribution to the exploration of oil fields. He was the discoverer of the famous Oil Rocks field, the world’s first large offshore oil field.

The rich history of the sector and the direct relevancy to oil and gas production makes the exhibition and conference an effective platform for companies interested in long-term co-operation with the oil and gas markets of Azerbaijan. Considerable positive experience in implementing exhibitions and conferences, the support from the state authorities and the politically stable and economically strong region – all these factors serve as preconditions to determine the success of Caspian Oil and Gas 2011 Exhibition and Conference.

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