Azerbaijan International

Spring 2005 (13.1)
Page 82

Chronology of Azerbaijan's Oil

Azerbaijan has been linked with oil for centuries, even millennia. Medieval travelers to the region noted its abundant supply of oil and its integral part of daily life. By the 19th century, Azerbaijan led the world as supplier of oil and gas. For example, in 1846, more than a decade before Americans made their famous discovery of oil in Pennsylvania, Azerbaijan had drilled its first oil well in Bibi Heybat on the outskirts of Baku.

By the beginning of the 20th century, Azerbaijan was producing more than half the world's supply of oil. During the early Oil Boom (1885-1920), Azerbaijan benefited greatly from the expertise of well-known chemists and geologists from Europe and Russia. Baku's entrepreneurs sought out the best advice that the scientific world could offer, consulting with such important figures as German chemist Karl Engler (1842-1925) and Russian Chemist Dmitry Mendeleyev (1834-1907). As a result, innovative techniques such as rotary drilling and gas lift were first tested in Azerbaijan.

The book chronicles the oil development in Azerbaijan from the 8th century up to 2004. It is the most comprehensive chronology that has ever been published on this topic. This chronology is an extension of material that was originally published in Azerbaijan International magazine in the summers of 2003 and 2004. Search at

The book contains 27 illustrations, including those of some of the most well known oil barons and scientists related to Azerbaijan's oil industry.

A wide range of readers will find the book valuable, including those interested in the scientific and historical development of oil in Azerbaijan from early times.

Mir Yusif Mir Babayev (born 1953) is a specialist in the field of oil chemistry and ecology. He graduated from Azerbaijan State Oil Academy with a doctorate in Chemical Sciences. He is Professor at Azerbaijan Technical University. This book is the result of years of the author pursuing his hobby of delving into 19th and 20th century newspaper archives.

"Brief Chronology of the History of Azerbaijan's Oil Business" by M. F. Mir-Babayev. Baku: Sabah Press, 2004. ISBN 5-86106-083-5, 224 pages, Bilingual: Russian and English. Hard bound. Published with the sponsorship of CCIC (Consolidated Contractors International Company).
For copies, contact the author, Mir Yusif Mir Babayev: Mobile: (994-50) 532-0485. E-mail:

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