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30.07.2014 16:36

Caspian Oil and Gas continues to facilitate global cooperation which began with the "Contract of the Century"

Caspian Oil and Gas 2014, which is the largest event in the energy sector of the Caspian region, took place from the 3 to 6 of June at the Baku Expo Centre. Every year, Caspian Oil and Gas gathers the most important specialists and leaders of the oil industry to demonstrate advanced technologies for the extraction and processing of oil and gas, transportation and logistics and industry-related services. The exhibition offers an opportunity to discuss trends in the development of the oil and gas market, potential prospects for cooperation in the Caspian region and the development of solutions for energy security issues around the world. The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan have also provided valuable support to the Caspian Oil and Gas exhibition.

As always, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev led the grand opening ceremony of the exhibition, congratulating the exhibitors, visitors and organisers with this important event. In his address, the Head of State underlined the rapid rate of development in Azerbaijan and the role of the energy industry in the economy of the country, as well as the importance and relevance of this oil and gas exhibition which is the most prominent event in the industry for over 20 years: 'The first exhibition in 1994 increased the attention paid to the economy of Azerbaijan by leading oil and gas companies around the world. I am pleased that it continues to this day. Azebaijan has been at the centre of attention for the last twenty years because of the development of the oil and gas industry and the country's contribution to global energy security. The first exhibition was held in 1994 and the "Contract of the Century" was signed several months later, making a significant contribution to our successful development. This was a historic event, because it is difficult to imagine what things would be like today had the "Contract of the Century" not been signed... We value the work of our friends and partners very much - both the activities of foreign oil companies and the organisers of this exhibition. This has contributed to our joint success, which is why more than 400 companies are exhibiting here today. I am sure, that we will be talking about new achievements at the next exhibition in June next year. '

Other important figures speaking at the Caspian Oil & Gas Opening Ceremony included Ambassador of the USA in Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar, who read out a welcome letter to the exhibitors and conference participants on behalf of US President Barack Obama; UK Trade Envoy to Azerbaijan Charles Hendry who read a welcome letter on behalf of UK Prime Minister David Cameron; Deputy Minister of Oil and Energy of Norway Kare Fostervold who read a welcome letter on behalf of Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, Head of the EU Mission in Azerbaijan Malena Mard read a welcome letter from European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, and BP Group Chief Executive Robert Dudley. VIP guests of honour at the Caspian Oil & Gas exhibition and conference also included Minister of Energy of Lithuania Yaroslav Neverovich, Secretary General of the Energy Charter Urban Rusnák, First Deputy Minister of Power and Natural Resources of Turkey Metin Kilci, Senior Adviser at the Bureau of Energy Resources of the US Department of State Daniel Stein and other prominent officials.

The President of Azerbaijan was given a VIP tour of the exhibition after the end of the opening ceremony. The display of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) reflected the successes achieved over the 20 years since the signing of the "Contract of the Century". Thanks to hard and consistent work over the years, SOCAR has become an international company. 13 SOCAR offices are active in different companies at the moment. The State Oil Company is also opening an increasing number of commercial ventures abroad - there are over 340 SOCAR filling stations in Georgia and other foreign countries. More than 43 social facilities have been opened in Azerbaijan with the financial support of SOCAR. President Ilham Aliyev was also informed about the future plans of the company.

British company BP have been closely cooperating with Azerbaijan since the signing of the "Contract of the Century". The globally recognised company is making every effort to help the development and modernisation of the oil and gas sector in Azerbaijan. The Head of State was told about the projects that BP is planning to implement over the next few years.

The Bos Shelf company, which was incorporated by SOCAR, is also heavily involved in the most important projects in the oil and gas sector of our republic. This is an organisation which will continue the modernisation of the deep water foundation plant and other projects as part of the second stage of the Shahdeniz project.

The President also reviewed the stands of SOCAR Turkey, GDF Suez, Saipem, RusNeft, TPAO, Statoil, Samsung, Caspian Shipyard, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany, Halliburton and Sarvak Kish Engineering & Drilling Services. President Ilham Aliyev used the occasion to wish the exhibitors and conference participants every success after the end of the tour.

This year will be the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Contract of the Century, which is one of the most important events in the history of the oil and gas industry of Azerbaijan. A special stand dedicated to the Anniversary was installed by the organisers in the foyer of the Baku Expo Centre to display the history and achievements of this vitally important contract. The President signed the Caspian Oil & Gas book of honour which has kept the history of the exhibition for over 15 years.

402 companies from 29 countries presented their products and services at the exhibition. More than 70% of the exhibition area was occupied by globally recognised companies. The debut exhibitors used the exhibition as a launch pad for growing their business in the Caspian region. The constant renewal and growth of the Caspian Oil and Gas exhibition underlines the ongoing interest it attracts from the international oil and gas community. Local companies comprised 35% of the total number of exhibitors, while the total growth of the exhibition reached 10%.

The exhibition occupied three pavilions of the Baku Expo Centre. The event was divided into sections including new technologies in oil extraction and energy resource transportation, storage systems for oil and gas, current and future oil and gas projects in the region and many others.

For the second year running, the "Meet the buyer" event from BP and their partners in the AzeriChiragGuneshli, BakuTbilisiCeyhan, Shahdeniz, and the South Caucasus Pipeline projects took place at the exhibition. Local companies specialised in operational supply, engineering, construction, the organisation of waste collection and disposal and the provision of various business services took part in the event.

The stands of SOCAR, BP, Total, Statoil, RussNeft, Caspian Marine Services Limited and other major companies impressed everyone with the number and design of their exhibits. The most active exhibitors were awarded special certificates. 8114 people visited the exhibition, 97% of whom were specialists and decision-makers.

Companies ran seminars which were relevant to a wide range of oil and gas industry professionals. On the 4th of June, Intertech Corporation held a seminar on "Modern analytical equipment for the oil industry and environmental protection". A master class for Youth Inc. Members took place on the 5th of June 2014. This programme is jointly run by DVC, Coca Cola and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The aim of the programme was the development of the concept of "Youth Entrepreneurship" and the support of young people in the creation of their own business.

The International Caspian Oil and Gas Conference was an important part of the business programme which took place at the JW Marriott Absheron Baku hotel from 4 to 5 June. Over 500 delegates from more than 30 countries took part in the annual conference. Over 50 representatives of state bodies, leading experts in the oil and gas industry and chief executives of major oil and gas companies from different countries made their reports. Speakers included Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan Natik Aliyev, SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev, UK Trade Envoy to Azerbaijan Charles Hendry, Deputy Minister of Oil and Energy of Norway Kare Fostervold, General Director of the Department of Europe, America and Caspian Countries of the Ministry of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hussein Esmaeili Shahmirzadi, Secretary General of the Energy Charter Urban Rusnák, Special Representative on Energy Issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Lachezar Matev, Senior Adviser at the Bureau of Energy Resources of the US Department of State Daniel Stein and many others.

A separate session of the conference was dedicated to the Contract of the Century, where participants had the opportunity to learn about the history, implementation and achievements of the contract. Other subjects covered by the conference included "The role of Azerbaijan in the provision of energy supplies to Eurasia", "International cooperation in ensuring growth in extraction and supply diversification," "Diversification of oil and gas transportation from the Caspian region," "Ensuring the stable development of major oil and gas projects, such as formation of gas prices and long term contracts and broadening the energy resource base, as well as Alternative energy sources, drilling and extraction technologies, Ensuring environmental safety in the Caspian region and a review of oil chemistry and oil processing in Azerbaijan and prospects for their development. An in-depth discussion of current issues in international cooperation as part of the XXI century Shahdeniz-2, TANAP and TAP projects, new developments in the construction of oil platforms, drilling installations and sea pipelines and new oil and gas resource extraction and transportation projects in the Caspian region was another important part of the conference.

The significance of the event was also underlined by the prominent status of the exhibition and conference sponsors. The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) was the General Sponsor of Caspian Oil & Gas 2014, which has been involved with the exhibition since its early days. The Gold Sponsors of the exhibition were BP Azerbaijan and Baker Hughes, while the Silver Sponsors were Nobel Oil LTD, Caspian Drilling Company, RWE DEA AG and Inpex Corporation. Bronze Sponsors included Ballast Pipelines SVAP, Caspian Geophysical JV, Conoco Phillips, Cross Caspian Oil and Gas Logistics, Ernst and Young, Nobel Oil LTD, Dassault Systèmes, SNF Vostok, Azfen J.V., Azeri MI Drilling Fluids, Bos Shelf, RussNeft, Caspian Marine Services, Tekfen Construction and Installation Co., INC., Dentons, Schlumberger, SOCAR AQŞ, Statoil, TAP, Total E&P Azerbaijan and Welspun Middle East DMCC. The official car of Caspian Oil & Gas 2014 was Toyota. The Official Airline of the conference was Ukrainian International Airlines while the General Media Partner of the exhibition and conference was the Caspian Energy International Media Group.

The exhibition and conference were organised by ITE Group Plc and their partners Iteca Caspian LLC. ITE Group PLC partners involved in ensuring the success of the exhibition included ITE London, ITE LLC Moscow (Russia), EUF (Turkey), GIMA (Germany), ITE China (People's Republic fo China), ITE Gulf (UAE), which worked hard on attracting international companies to exhibit at the event. The exhibition has had the "UFI Approved Event" status awarded by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry for the past 9 years. The "UFI Approved Event" status certifies that the exhibition meets all international standards.

As always, the exhibition and conference was a high quality platform for international business cooperation and professional interaction. In the Year of Industry in Azerbaijan declared by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the exhibition and conference brought a stream of information, experience and advanced technology and gave an additional impetus to the development of the oil and gas industry.

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