Baku - APA-Economics. “The “Contract of the Century” signed in 1994 was not an ordinary contract, it founded international cooperation in the Caspian Sea, accelerated flow of foreign investors to Azerbaijan. This contract also supported signing of new oil and gas contracts”, said the Minister of Energy Natig Aliyev in hisn article published in “Azerbaijan” newspaper.
The Minister said that as the contribution of the “Contract of the Century”, Chirag started to produce in 1997 as part of the Early Oil Project. In 2005, Azeri produced oil. Following central Azeri, West Azeri and East Azeri produced oil. Thereafter, Deepwater Guneshli started oil extraction.
Aliyev noted that he held meeting at Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan with the heads of foreign oil companies after he was appointed as the president of the SOCAR: “This was caused by the talks held with BP from 1992 to that time on the abovementioned issue, which was contrary to national interests and unacceptable for our country. They intended to sign contract on Azeri, Chirag fields, deep part of Guneshli. Even, they had empowered BP to hold exclusive talks on Shahdeniz gas project. Instead of this, the Popular Front functionaries had received $10 mln bonus under the name of assistance to development of democracy. During the meeting, I clearly stated on behalf of great leader Heydar Aliyev that all negotiations so far come to a halt! After analyzing the results of negotiations for about two months, we start negotiations with a new concept. So during that period, a concept reflecting Azerbaijan’s interests to the full extent was developed and presented to great leader Heydar Aliyev. The concept showed the principles with which it was possible to work with foreign companies. Based on that, great leader Heydar Aliyev signed an order on the issue in February 4, 1994”.
According to the order, President of SOCAR had to inform the head of state regarding the restart and results of the negotiations. On April 28 of the same year, then-Vice-president of SOCAR Ilham Aliyev began to lead cooperation with overseas companies.
“As a result of hard efforts after resolving all issues in the procedure within a short period of time—on September 12—in Houston, I reported to the president that the contract is fully ready. Then great leader Heydar Aliyev made a decision on signing the contract on September 20. So the contract was signed”, said the minister.