The Azerbaijan State News Agency



20 September 2004 will mark the 10th anniversary of signing the Contract on Joint Development and Production Sharing on the Azeri, Chirag and Deepwater Gunashli Fields between Azerbaijan State Oil Company and the world’s leading oil companies.

On its coming into effect, this Contract, which had been prepared under the leadership of nationwide leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev, as well as highly appraised by the international community and fairly named as “Contract of Century”, has been added with gold letters to the history of the Republic and opened the glorious page of the Heydar Aliyev’s oil strategy.

This historic event will always be live in memory of our people. Regaining its independence, the Republic of Azerbaijan has declared to the world once again that it is a legal possessor of its natural resources.

Signing for the first time such a large-scale Contract with the largest oil companies of the West, the post-soviet country has laid the foundation for international cooperation in the Caspian Sea. Thus, President Heydar Aliyev, showing once again, the great political bravery, strong will and deep wisdom, put forward the new oil doctrine of the independent Azerbaijan.

For the passed period, the Contract of Century turning into the foundation of the Azerbaijan independent economy, has ensured launching free economic mechanisms and dynamic integration of the Republic into the world economy, speeded up the foreign investments flow and fostered closing new oil and gas contracts in Azerbaijan.

The joint activities in the framework of the 23 oil contracts signed so far, has opened wide opportunities for attraction progressive technologies to our country, reorganization of the oil infrastructure, development of transport and services sectors, training highly qualified national personnel and opening thousands of new jobs.

Merely in oil sector, the realization of the Contract of Century has ensured attraction of US $7 bln of investments. 34 mln tons of oil and 6 bln cubic meters of gas has been produced from Chirag field since its launching on 12 November 1997.

For the last decade, the total volume of oil produced in Azerbaijan has increased from 10 mln tons in 1993 up to 15 mln in 2003.

Important works have been done in the framework of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the first oil project and full-scale development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields. Thus, the underwater pipeline for oil and gas transportation to the cost has been laid, modern terminal has been constructed in Sangashal, and now intensive preparatory works are being carried out on the Phase 3.

To ensure transportation of the Azerbaijan oil to the world markets, “Baku-Novorossiysk” oil pipeline has been restored and Baku-Supsa has been constructed and put into operation. As a result, transportation of the oil produced from the Chirag - Azeri Light - field through “East-West” corridor from Supsa port to the world markets has been launched.

Putting into operation of the four huge semi-submersible rigs - “Dede Gordud”, “Istiglal”, “Gurtulush” and “Heydar Aliyev” may be considered as one of the greatest achievements of the country’s industry.

For the purpose of effective use and management of currency and other means from the realization of the oil-gas contracts, the State Oil Fund has been founded by the 29 December 1999 Decree of the President of Azerbaijan. The main goal was to spend the funds collected to satisfy the barest needs of our people and save them for the next generations.

The decision on exploration of the world-scale Shahdeniz gas-condensate field and its development since February 2003, has become one of the greatest achievements opening wide opportunities for further development of our Republic.

The construction of the export pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan promoting development of hydrocarbons transportation infrastructure not only in Azerbaijan but also in the whole region and being considered as one of the world’s largest projects, as well as South Caucasus gas pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum is continuing very successfully, as well. Putting into operation of the main export pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan named after Heydar Aliyev expected in 2005 will become a historic event for each of the three countries - Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

Therefore, the work being implemented on the oil and gas projects, whose foundation was laid by the Contract of Century, has entered the decisive stage. All the vivid victories gained on this way are connected with the irreplaceable role and invaluable contributions of the nationwide leader of our people, founder of the modern Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev.

Taking into consideration the exceptional role of the “Contract of Century” in political and economic life of the Azerbaijan Republic, I hereby decree:

1. The 10th anniversary of the “Contract of Century” shall be solemnly marked in Baku on 20 September 2004. To this end, an Organizational Committee shall be formed in the following composition:

Chairman of the Organizational Committee

Artur Rasizadeh - Prime Minister of the of the Azerbaijan Republic

Members of the Organizational Committee:

Ramiz Mehdiyev - Chief of the President’s Administration

Vahid Ahundov - State Adviser for Economic Policy of the Azerbaijan Republic

Elmar Mammadyarov - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Azerbaijan Republic

Majid Karimov - Minister of Fuel and Energy of the Azerbaijan Republic

Polad Bulbuloglu - Minister of Culture of the Azerbaijan Republic

Fatma Abdullazadeh - Chief of the President Administration’s Humanitarian Policy Department

Ali Asadov - Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan Republic

Natig Aliyev - President of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic

Nizami Khudiyev - Chairman of the State Radio and Television Company

David Woodward - President of BP-Azerbaijan

2. The Organizational Committee formed under the item 1 of the present Executive Order shall prepare a program of events and ensure their realization in connection with conducting of the solemn ceremony.

3. The Cabinet of Minister of the Azerbaijan Republic shall resolve issues arising from the present Executive Order.

Ilham Aliyev

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Baku 19 July 2004

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