BP Current Developments
by Tamam Bayatly
Above: Azerbaijan's Minister of Education Misir Mardanov (right) presents an Honorary Award to David Woodward, President of AIOC, in recognition of his company's contribution to the development of education in Azerbaijan. February 22, 2001.
Progress on Pipeline
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Partners' Management Committee for the BTC crude oil pipeline project met in Ankara on February 27, 2001 for a progress review. [Note that Ceyhan is the Turkish spelling for what is pronounced as "Jeyhan" in English.] This meeting, one of a series of regular updates, was the first meeting of the owners group in Turkey and marked the completion of the first half of the Basic Engineering Phase.
The BTC Partners, comprising SOCAR (50%), BP (25.41% and operator), Unocal (7.48%), Statoil (6.37%), TPAO (5.02%), Itochu (2.92%), Ramco (1.55%) and Delta Hess (1.25%), commenced the Basic Engineering program of technical and commercial work in November 2000, following the signature of the Host Government Agreements with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, the Turnkey Contract with BOTASH and the Turkish Government guarantee.
Significant progress has been achieved on the technical scoping. BOTASH is responsible for the engineering work at this stage in Turkey, and Fluor Daniel is undertaking the work on the Azerbaijani and Georgian Section of the line. A series of detailed hydraulic studies have been completed, modeling the flow of crude oil as it traverses the terrain between Baku and Ceyhan. Additionally, a 10km route corridor of interest through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey has already been identified and notified to the transit governments, a significant step toward achieving one of the key deliverables of Basic Engineering, which is the identification of a 500m corridor by mid-May 2001.
Work is still underway to deliver the principal objectives of Basic Engineering: sufficient technical definition to achieve a +/-30% Cost Estimate, a Project Execution plan and Schedule. These will play a significant role in the assurance that the BTC Partners will seek as they contemplate starting the next stage of the BTC project - Detailed Engineering.
Above: BP sponsored an environmental expedition to Shamakhi, February 2001.
There has also been progress in the commercial work program, as the agreements that will enable the BTC Project to go forward into the next stages have taken shape. BTC Project Participants will be seeking financing for the Construction Stage of the project; these agreements are also necessary to enable the process to begin. Active discussions are underway between SOCAR and potential additional investors to join the project, and BP expects to see new BTC Partners join in June.
In June 2001, the BTC Partners will decide whether to undertake the Detailed Engineering stage for the pipeline, which will take a further 12-month period. Assuming a successful outcome, this would allow the 32-month land acquisition and construction period of the BTC project to commence in mid-2002. This timetable is designed to make the BTC pipeline available in time to receive the first oil produced by the next development stage of the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli PSA, which is planned to come onstream at the end of 2004.
Young Scientists' Award
For the fourth year, AIOC has sponsored and jointly organized the Young Scientist Award Competition in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Academy of Science and the leading universities of Azerbaijan, including the Oil Academy and Baku State University. The aim of the project is to support the development of science in Azerbaijan, especially young scientists' research activities related to the oil industry.
This year's topic was "Azerbaijan's Oil Strategy and Social and Economic Development." Eleven winners (six young scientists and five students) were presented prizes and diplomas at the final event, which took place at the Ministry of Education. Their winning projects were then published in a book put out by AIOC.
Above: Presentation of a CD featuring the works of the late Rafig Babayev on the occasion of his 65th Jubilee.
This year Azerbaijani jazz musician Rafig Babayev would have celebrated his 65th birthday had he not been killed by a terrorist bomb attack in Baku's Metro in 1994. [See "Tribute to Rafig Babayev" in Azerbaijan International, AI 2.2, Summer 1994 at AZER.com]. To commemorate the memory of this superb composer and performer on the occasion of his Jubilee, BP produced a CD entitled "Alvida" featuring some of his works. The CD was presented at a ceremony on February 16 hosted by BP at the Rashid Behbudov Song Theater. Previously, BP sponsored the production of a series of CDs and cassettes with Azerbaijan's classical and contemporary music, including songs composed by Tofig Guliyev and Rauf Hajiyev.
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Education presented an Honorary Award to AIOC's President, David Woodward, in recognition of his company's contribution to the development of education in the country. This support has included the refurbishment of classrooms, construction of a library and kindergarten for refugees in Sabirabad, donations of educational materials to schools and refugee children, the "Excellence in Teaching" project, which helps update teaching methods, as well as donations of computers to schools and universities. AIOC has printed textbooks, the "Dada Gorgud" research book, translations from world literature and ecological books and donated them to school and university libraries. The company has also printed 18,000 Azeri-language textbooks for third graders and donated them to refugee schoolchildren.
Water for Refugees
AIOC has donated two powerful water pumps and more than 1,000 km of pipe in order to build a pipeline to carry water from the Kur river in Sabirabad to the refugee camp in Saatli. Refugees at the camp currently do not have access to a clean water supply. The company is working closely with the State Committee on the Problems of Refugees to make sure that the area's refugees will have water for domestic needs and farming by this summer.
Left: Masoud Javadi, BP Legal Services Attorney during SOCAR cup Tennis Tournament at the Ganjlik Sports Health Complex.
New Year's Highlights
AIOC held a New Year's celebration at Baku's Nizami Cinema for orphans, refugee children and kids from needy families. With help from the International Women's Club, nearly 2,000 children came from orphanages in Shuvalan, Mardakan, Ramana, Zabrat and other villages near Baku. The children received gifts from AIOC and enjoyed dancing around the New Year Tree with Father Frost and the Snow Girl.
Representatives from BP and Operational Christmas Child, a U.K.-based charity, distributed New Year's gifts to refugee children throughout Azerbaijan, including Sumgayit, Sabirabad, Saatli and areas in Baku. These shoeboxes filled with gifts were donated by children from the U.K. and Ireland; BP provided part of the funding for their transportation to Azerbaijan.
Khojali, a small but strategic town with the only airport in Nagorno-Karabakh, became the site of the first onslaught by Armenians against Azerbaijanis during the conflict over this region. On a winter night in February 1992, Armenian soldiers attacked and killed hundreds of civilians, including women and children as they tried to escape running through the fields. [For a first-hand account of the Khojali massacre, see AI 7.3, Autumn 1999.]
In commemoration of the Khojali tragedy, BP presented gifts to 140 Khojali orphans living in Baku. A BP representative addressed the event by saying, "These children have suffered the loss of their parents. And while nothing can make up for this loss of care and kindness, we hope to help the children feel that at least they are not forgotten." The gifts of educational materials and school stationery were part of BP's continuing support to orphans and refugee children in Azerbaijan.
In February, BP sponsored a youth environmental expedition organized by the environmental tourism NGO Pilgrim and the Sports Mountaineering Club. The project is designed to call attention to environmental challenges and shape new attitudes and behaviors with regard to environmental protection. The route of the expedition passed through the districts of Azerbaijan along the Northern and Western Export Pipelines operated by BP.
The program, which will continue for eight months, also includes environmental workshops and discussions with local youth communities. Copies of BP-sponsored environmental publications are being presented to schools, youth organizations and the general public.
In March, BP also donated a series of company-sponsored environmental publications to the students and teaching staff of Baku's Ecological Lyceum. The project included translations of two books - "Global Warming" and "Domestic Waste" - from English into Azeri and Russian. The books are part of BP's internationally recognized joint project for children, "Science Across Europe" and are meant to help Azerbaijan's younger generation learn about the latest environmental and assessment methodologies.
On January 27-February 3, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) held its first "SOCAR Cup" amateur tennis tournament to promote sports and enhance relationships between SOCAR and those who work for oil industry related companies in Azerbaijan. This year's winners were Elman Alakbarov and Rauf Jafarov of Turan Air.
World Youth Chess Champion Zeynab Mammadyarova [see article about Zeynab in AI 8.4, Winter 2000], has now also been awarded the bronze medal from the World Youth Olympics in her age group. To celebrate the great success of this young chess player, BP presented her with a computer. For the past five years, BP has sponsored young Azerbaijani chess players' participation in international competitions, donated computers to young chess players, refurbished the Chess Club Center in Baku and equipped it with furniture and equipment. The International BP Cup Chess Tournament has become an important regional event for young chess players.
From Azerbaijan International (9.1) Spring 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2001. All rights reserved.