Spring 1996 (4.1)
Announced by SOCAR
by Vitaly Baylarbayov
Photo: Vitaly Baylarbayov
In August 1995, SOCAR announced winners of two tenders which have been financed by the World Bank Technical Assistance Petroleum Credit. They were Kvaerner (Norway) and Curry & Brown (UK).
Kvaerner is conducting a feasibility study for the rehabilitation of the shallow section of Gunashli field located in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea (see AI 3:4, Winter 95, "Gunashli for a Sunnier Future").
Curry & Brown
A small consulting company, Curry & Brown has been selected to be involved in project implementation and assisting SOCAR administration including day-to-day activities such as auditing, accounting, training, small procurement.
We recently announced four more bids and have selected the consultancy firms which will be doing feasibility studies for us. The rehabilitation project for the Garadagh Gas Processing Plant has been contracted to John Brown (UK). We are now awaiting final approval for funding from the World Bank.
A project to train SOCAR's personnel has gone to the Boston-based, International Human Resources Development Corporation (IHRDC). Under this agreement, a minimum of 30 SOCAR personnel will be trained. The plans include that nine of the best students out of a group of 25 who begin their studies here in Baku, will be selected to continue their studies in the US at the IHRDC offices.
Rehabilitation of some of the old on-shore fields in Azerbaijan has gone to Intera Petroleum Services (UK) which is now owned by Shlumberger.
They have been commissioned to create models for future developments of the fields, after evaluating the current situation and creating a baseline study.
Keith Hyatt-Legal Counsel
The contract for legal investigation of the Caspian Sea has been awarded to Professor Keith Hyatt, a well-known specialist from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Hyatt has participated in many maritime situations worldwide and will serve as an independent consultant. He will gather information about the legal investigation of the Caspian Sea situation and suggest possible strategies should the need arise for such counsel.
In 1993, MAI Consultants (UK) began their first project in Azerbaijan when they estimated the technical costs connected with rehabilitation of the Gunashli field project. They have since be involved with an audit of Pennzoil costs for the Gas Utilization Project (GUP).
Now MAI Consultants has been awarded a project sponsored by the British Government's "Know-How Fund." They will study efficient ways to restructure SOCAR and the entire petroleum industry of Azerbaijan. The study will build upon the significant changes SOCAR has already made in re-organization and will seek to identify ways to assist us through future phases of development. They will be involved in investigating the hierarchy of SOCAR and relations between various subdivisions of the company.
In the near future, there will be more projects for the rehabilitation of offshore fields. We also will be announcing bids for legal and financial advisors in a special investigation related to the "Early Oil" Project and the offshore development of Azeri-Chirag- Gunashli.
The bidding process for tenders generally follows procedures already established by the World Bank. We begin by making a "long list" of 10-12 companies for internal consideration. At this stage, we don't seek proposals from them. After discussions among our management, the Board of Directors, and one or two of the vice presidents responsible for the specific scope of activity, we shorten the list to about six companies. Our goal is to diversify by choosing companies from different countries. Usually, not more than two companies from the same country are invited to participate in a single project.
We then send official invitations to the short-listed companies. A Bidding Commission at SOCAR evaluates the proposals, using a variety of perimeters such as budget, experience and other major criteria. We're especially interested in knowing whether a company has had experience in the former Soviet Union or in Azerbaijan or in offshore development. It's also important for us that their personnel have language skills in Azeri or Russian.
We consider these projects that we have just awarded to be only the beginning as we will continue to get involved with many new contracts and new consultants in the future.
Vitaly Baylarbayov is Deputy Head of SOCAR's Foreign Investments Division and Executive Director of Project Implementation which was organized to coordinate SOCAR's relations with the World Bank, International Development Association (IDA) and other funding institutions.
From Azerbaijan International (4.1) Spring 1996.
© Azerbaijan International 1996. All rights reserved.