AIOC's New President
On January 1, 1999,
David Woodward became the fourth president of AIOC, succeeding
John Leggate who will head one of British Petroleum's (BP) business
units once the proposed merger with Amoco has been approved.
Woodward joined BP in 1970 as a petroleum engineer and has worked
primarily outside the UK. He spent 11 years in the Middle East,
including a period as general manager of the large consortium
ADCO in Abu Dhabi where he succeeded Terry Adams, the founding
president of AIOC.
"As Terry Adams' successor in ADCO, I built upon his legacy,
especially in regard to training and developing the national
staff," says Woodward. "At AIOC, training and developing
national staff for key positions will also be a major priority."
Woodward's most recent assignment was in Moscow where he was
responsible for exploration and production. Prior to that, he
was senior vice president of BP Exploration in Alaska in charge
of optimizing performance at Prudhoe Bay field that produced
800,000 barrels daily.
AIOC's new president has an MS degree in Physics and attended
the Harvard Business School program for Management Development.
He is a Chartered Engineer, a Member of the Institution of Mining
and Metallurgy and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
He is married with two children.
Left: Oil containment boom being deployed
during an AIOC offshore oil spill response exercise.
Right: AIOC sponsored its Second Children's
Mugham Festival (1998).
Main Export Pipeline
meeting on December 4, the Steering Committee reviewed the status
report on progress associated with the selection of the route
for the Main Export Pipeline (MEP). SOCAR and the Contractor
Parties of AIOC continue to negotiate with the transit countries
on the potential MEP routes. Both parties recognize that this
is a complex but important process and that it will take time
to find the best solution. SOCAR and the Contractor Parties each
have a strong commitment to complete the ongoing negotiations
and analyses so that a joint route selection can be agreed upon.
The Steering Committee concluded that more time would be required
to complete negotiations for the right solution.
Bob Erickson, AIOC Chief Operating Officer, said that "the
decision regarding the MEP is critical and has a number of complex
and interrelated issues. At the same time, the industry is forecasting
that current low crude oil prices will continue for several years.
Since our efforts are directed towards creating value that contributes
to a prosperous future for Azerbaijan, it is critical that we
weigh all alternatives and make the right decision."
John Leggate commented that, "AIOC appreciates the geopolitical
sensitivities of the region. However, working to achieve short-term
deadlines makes no sense in respect to the Main Export Pipeline
that will operate for 30 years or more. There is a gap between
geopolitical considerations and the reality of economics. Our
goal is to bring these two factors together but this will take
time. Progress is being made with the AIOC Contractor Parties
now gaining a better realization of the political conditions
in the region and politicians understanding the economic realities
Northern Pipeline-One Year
AIOC celebrated one year of effective operation of the Baku-Novorossiysk
Northern Pipeline system. The pipeline has operated with virtually
no interruptions since October 25, 1997, when the first barrels
of Azerbaijan oil were pumped across the border into the Russian
segment of the pipeline. AIOC's first oil from Chirag crossed
the Russia -Azerbaijan border on February 28, 1998.
the Young Scientist of the Year award with John Leggate (former
AIOC President) and Academicians who were members of the selection
committee. This award has become an annual event with AIOC.
The number of the Azerbaijan staff working on the Northern Pipeline
has increased significantly since the pipeline has become operational.
Some of them have been promoted to key management positions.
Meanwhile AIOC has worked closely with local authorities and
the community in all eight Azerbaijan districts through which
the pipeline passes. AIOC continues to sponsor programs, especially
educational projects. Recently AIOC donated 400 new textbooks
to the Shirvanovka Secondary School. AIOC has exported 2.5 million
tons of crude oil via the Northern Pipeline including approximately
2 million tons of oil from Chirag. AIOC loaded 26 tanker loads
of oil at Novorossiysk in 1998. (In addition, SOCAR's oil filled
Left: Einar Tressalt, AIOC VP of Health Safety
and Environment projects, was recently awarded a gold medal by
the International Ecoenergy Academy. Faramarz Maksudov, President
of the Academy of Science presented the award.
Right: Faig Asgarov who has been promoted to
the Environmental Manager as part of the AIOC Succession Planning
Western Pipeline Route
On December 10, 1998, AIOC began filling its Western Route Export
Pipeline (WREP). This pipeline, beginning at the Sangachal Terminal
(near Baku) where new pumps as well as metering and control systems
have been installed, extends to Supsa (Georgian port on the Black
Sea). The WREP completes the Early Oil strategy by AIOC for crude
oil export originating from the Chirag platform.
Natig Aliyev, President of SOCAR, and Gia Chanturiya, President
of the Georgian International Oil Corporation (GIOC), pressed
the button at Sangachal to begin pumping the oil into the pipeline.
Guests included Zurab Gumberidze, Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan
and Ahmad Zeynalov, SOCAR's VP of Construction. AIOC's management
included VP of Oil Transportation John Hollis, Sangachal Terminal
Manager Hikmet Islamov and Western Route Azerbaijan Project Manager
Pumping this first supply of oil into the pipeline is a very
significant milestone as it puts AIOC on track to deliver oil
across the Georgian border by the end of this year and allows
the first tanker to load up from Supsa in April 1999. The flexibility
of having a second export route in addition to the Northern route
will increase the reliability of delivering Azerbaijan's oil
to Western markets.
At its peak, the WREP project employed more than 3,000 people,
with Azerbaijani and Georgian nationals comprising more than
70 percent of the workforce. The principal construction contractors
for the pipeline project in Azerbaijan, AZFEN-TEKFEN, achieved
more than 2.6 million man-hours with no loss of time to injury.
AIOC marked its fourth anniversary on December 12, 1998, celebrating
the production of 2.35 million tons of oil. The Chirag platform
currently produces 75,000 barrels (10,000 tons) per day from
five production wells. Chirag's Well-7 is now operational, which
will enable daily production volume to reach 90,000 barrels in
a few weeks (12,200 tons), and Well-8 is being completed while
Well-9 is being drilled.
Other AIOC Milestones
of $1.6 billion
- Sending four
tankers per month to world markets
and safety programs that meet world standards
of the Azerbaijani sector of the Western route
- Jobs and training
for thousands of Azerbaijanis
Focus on Environmental
AIOC-founded Caspian Environmental Laboratory provides environmental
services in Azerbaijan to help the government and industry develop
environmental standards geared specifically for the Caspian.
AIOC has also contributed to the establishment of the Caspian
Environmental Program whose administration center is currently
being established in Baku. AIOC is now developing new Caspian
toxicity procedures which will help the authorities to determine
the level of the toxicity of chemicals used in oil industry-related
AIOC's Health, Safety and the Environment (HSE) projects also
help raise environmental awareness in schools where young students
are enthusiastic to learn about nature and ecology and take part
in international environmental competitions. On November 14,
1998, Einar Tresselt, AIOC Vice-President, HSE, was awarded a
gold medal by the International Ecoenergy Academy of Azerbaijan.
The Academy gave the award "in recognition of his outstanding
contribution to improvement of the environment of this country."
AIOC is committed to developing Azerbaijani staff and industry
leaders. On November 1, 1998, Faig Asgarov was named the new
Environmental Manager, taking the place of an expatriate. Prior
to his promotion, Asgarov was the Environmental Coordinator.
Salekh Rezazade became the second Azerbaijani to be promoted
to a managerial position. At the end of December, he began heading
the Permitting and Regulatory Affairs Department.
Oil Spill Training
AIOC held an exercise in September to train marine crews and
the Briggs Marine Environmental Services Oil Spills Response
Team in the use of equipment should an oil spill ever occur in
the Caspian. The training took place offshore from AIOC's jetty
at the SPS yard.
Nikki Crowell, Manager of AIOC Administration, launched a campaign
to draw attention to safe driving by presenting the first copies
of AIOC's new Road Safety Handbook to the AIOC President, and
his driver, Teymuraz Babayev. The handbook covers vehicle and
driving standards and outlines a code of behavior to ensure safer
AIOC is now launching a full campaign to ensure that everyone
who drives on AIOC business, including contractors, adhere to
the safest standards. AIOC's vehicles are also being put through
comprehensive maintenance and inspection programs.
3, the final round of competition of the Second Children's Mugham
(pronounced moo-GAHM) Festival was held in the Rashid Behbudov
Song Theater. The concert featured the finalists of the traditional
mugham competition held annually by AIOC. This year's event combined
two major goals-first, to encourage and help the children of
Azerbaijan maintain the traditional art of mugham performance
and secondly, to honor Teachers' Day in Azerbaijan.
The Mugham Festival was the largest children's event ever to
take place in Azerbaijan since independence (1991). Nearly 300
mugham and folk music performers under the age of 16 gathered
from all parts of Azerbaijan for the competition. Most of the
talented children were from displaced families [internal refugees]
from war-occupied areas of Azerbaijan.
AIOC hopes to foster the rebirth of Azerbaijani national culture
and encourage the children of Karabakh to maintain their identity
despite the very difficult conditions.
The consortium is committed not only to produce and transport
oil from the Caspian to world markets but also to act as a good
corporate citizen, benefiting generations today and in the future.
Silk Route Art
October, AIOC hosted an exhibition featuring artists' impressions
of the Great Silk Route in the Vajiha Samadova Gallery at the
Artists' Union. The artists were participants in the Fourth International
Shaki Artists' Symposium which was sponsored by AIOC for the
Each year, the Shaki Symposium invites about a dozen national
and international artists who spend a month in Kish near the
mountain town of Shaki exchanging experiences and interpreting
scenes of nature. The untamed landscape and tranquility inspires
the artists to explore their creativity. This year's 1999 calendar
by AIOC is one of the results of this year's Shaki International
8, AIOC held its second annual Young Scientist Award Competition.
This annual event has become an important event in the scientific
life of the Republic, supporting the development of young scientists
and students of Azerbaijani universities. The competition is
held in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the Academy
of Sciences, relevant research institutes and the Oil Academy.
Twelve winners (six young scientists and six students) were selected.
The papers of the winners have been published by AIOC in a book
entitled "Oil and Azerbaijan's Future."
To celebrate its fourth birthday within the Azerbaijan community,
AIOC sponsored a concert on December 11 featuring the famous
opera singers Lutfiyar Imanov (People's Artist of Azerbaijan)
and Mukhtar Malikov (Honored Artist).
hosted New Year Celebrations for about 1,200 children from various
orphanages in and around Baku, including children of displaced
families and Karabakh war victims. The children were treated
to a cultural program and New Year's gifts. This is the third
year AIOC has ushered in the New Year for hundreds of Azerbaijani
is Media and Government Affairs Specialist, AIOC.
(6.4) Winter 1998.
© Azerbaijan International 1998. All rights reserved.
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