The opening ceremony of the 18th International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition and Conference, Incorporating Refining and Petrochemicals took place at 7th of June in Baku Expo Centre. The largest event in the Caspian oil and gas sector gathered together, as is traditional, leading specialists and key players from the world’s petroleum industry, i.e. 285 companies from 27 countries set up their stands in two vast pavilions at the Baku Expo Centre. ITE Group Plc. (UK) and its Caucasian partner, Iteca Caspian, are the organisers of the exhibition.
The high status of the exhibition is emphasized by the annual participation of HE Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan Republic, in its official opening ceremony. Today the Head of State took part in the official opening ceremony of Caspian Oil & Gas 2011 and made the traditional welcoming speech. In his speech President Ilham Aliyev emphasized the significance of the event on an international level. Further speeches were then made by high-ranking international guests including Richard Morningstar, the US Secretary of State’s Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, Guenther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy, Haakon, the Crown Prince of Norway, and Alexander Khetaguri, the Georgian Energy Minister. Letters of welcome for Caspian Oil & Gas 2011 were sent by Barack Obama, the US President, David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish Prime Minister and Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Union. Representatives of the relevant ministries of Azerbaijan, Hungary, Ukraine, Russia and Turkmenistan, as well as representatives of major oil and gas companies and organizations are also participating in the exhibition.
During the VIP tour of the exhibition the Head of State visited key stands displaying the latest oil and gas equipment, innovative technologies in oil production and energy resources’ transportation, and projects demonstrating both current and future developments in the Azerbaijani oil sector. Exhibitors include national stands from the United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey and Germany. Over 40% of the exhibition space is occupied by globally renowned state oil and gas companies and corporations, most of which are regular participants in the Caspian Oil and Gas exhibition, i.e. BP, Itochu, OMV Gas International GmbH, SOCAR, Statoil, Total, TPAO and many others. The exhibition space occupied by participants has increased by 25% since last year. New companies at the Caspian Oil and Gas 2011 Exhibition account for 12% of the total number of exhibitors. Accordingly, the visitors to the exhibition were proportionally as high-ranking as the exhibitors as they included the representatives of ministries from Azerbaijan, Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, Turkmenistan, Germany and Norway, and of major oil and gas companies and financial, legal and business organizations. The exhibition space is currently reminiscent of huge lecture-hall where thousands of colleagues have met to discuss the issues of the oil and gas sector and to demonstrate the latest achievements in oil and gas production and processing. Thus, even though it is only the first day of the exhibition, Caspian Oil & Gas has achieved one of its key goals - the promotion of international co‑operation.
This year a number of companies are using a completely new approach for their exhibition stands, while others, such as Schlumberger and Azfen-Tekfen Alliance, have almost doubled the area of their stands compared to last year.Traditionally, support for the Caspian Oil and Gas project is provided by the Ministry of Industry and Energy of Azerbaijan Republic and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). Last year the exhibition won the “Brand Award Azerbaijan 2010” prize from a nomination in the category “Brand of the Year No. 1, Exhibitions in Azerbaijan”. The exhibition has also been recognised by UFI (the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) for six consecutive years now. The UFI Approved Event status testifies to the compliance of the exhibition with all international standards.