Spring 2002 (10.1)
Norwegian oil company
STATOIL has been involved with several humanitarian projects
in Azerbaijan since it arrived in the country in 1992. For instance,
the company recently brought Dr. Maria Odegard from Norway to
perform eye surgeries in Baku with the Caspian Compassion Project
(CCP). Over two weeks, Dr. Odegard performed a total of 49 cataract
operations, including 17 on refugees. She also did a number of
consultations with patients.
"Eye diseases are often developed
in conjunction with diabetes," Dr. Odegard said. "Most
of my clients were elderly and not in the best of health. The
development of cataracts was often far advanced."
Left: STATOIL brought Dr. Maria Odegard to
Baku from Norway to perform eye surgeries.
CCP is a North American initiative that helps Azerbaijani IDPs
and refugees who would not be able to afford an eye operation
in a regular hospital. A relatively simple operation gives these
patients normal vision after a life of almost total blindness.
According to Paal Eitrheim, External Affairs Manager for STATOIL
Azerbaijan, Dr. Odegar has already been invited back to Baku
to perform more operations.
STATOIL has also provided crucial medical supplies for Azerbaijan's
leper village at Umbaki, located one and a half hours away from
Baku. STATOIL's John Coker, who is currently working on the Shah
Deniz project, was instrumental in supplying the villagers with
bandages, medicines and other necessities.
In partnership with other foreign companies and embassies, STATOIL
co-financed the establishment of Azerbaijan's first crisis center
for women. The Center, located in central Baku and run by the
Institute of Peace and Democracy, offers free medical, legal
and psychological advice to women in crisis.
"STATOIL was actively involved in the discussions of the
idea of the Center from the very beginning, and we enthusiastically
support this initiative to help women. When we first saw the
building, it was in shambles, but the organizers have done a
fantastic job since then," said Jamilya Hajiyeva, External
Affairs Advisor with STATOIL Azerbaijan.
The crisis center opened in late November 2001 and currently
offers a hotline from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Once the center becomes
fully operational, the hotline will be available 24 hours a day.
Left: Leyla Yunus initiated the establishment
of a crisis center for women in Baku. Middle:
Dr. Maria Odegard performed 49 cataract operations during her
stay in Baku. Right: STATOIL donated a van to Azerbaijan's
Other STATOIL projects in the region include an educational project
on human rights being run in Azerbaijan by the Norwegian Refugee
Council as well as the refurbishment of a power plant in the
Gardabani district in Georgia.
Norway's STATOIL is one of the world's largest net sellers of
crude oil and a substantial supplier of natural gas to Europe.
It is a leading Scandinavian retailer of gas and other oil products,
and the largest operator on the Norwegian continental shelf.
The company has operations in more than 20 countries worldwide.
STATOIL established operations in Azerbaijan in the early 1990s;
its current interests there include Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (8.6
percent), Shah Deniz (25.5 percent) and Alov-Araz-Sharg (15 percent).
STATOIL also holds a 6.45 percent share in the sponsor group
for the BTC pipeline project and is involved in the South Caucasus
Gas Pipeline (SCP) from Baku via Georgia to Erzurum, Turkey.
Between 1992 and 2000, STATOIL spent more than $20 million U.S.
on its activities in Azerbaijan.
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