Caspian Oil & Gas 2014 - the unique global role of Azerbaijanís oil potential
Today at Baku Expo Centre is the final day of the 21st International Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference, Caspian Oil & Gas 2014. The largest event in the Caspian region in the oil and gas sector, organized by ITE Group Plc and Iteca Caspian LLC, has brought together more than 400 companies from 29 countries. The current Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition has a special significance, as it takes place in the twentieth year since the signing of the Contract of the Century. At that time, the initiative for a specialized Oil and Gas Exhibition in Azerbaijan was supported the National Leader Heydar Aliyev. This yearís event was supported by the Ministry of Energy and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR).
As is traditional, Caspian Oil & Gas was attended by President Ilham Aliyev, who gave a long speech at the opening ceremony which noted the unique global role of the exhibition.
The factor that further increases the importance of the exhibition is that the President of the United States of America and the British Prime Minister traditionally address their congratulations to the organizers and participants. This year, US Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan Richard L. Morningstar read a welcome letter to the participants of Caspian Oil & Gas on behalf of US President Barack Obama; the UKís Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy Charles Hendry read a welcome letter on behalf of British Prime Minister David Cameron; Deputy Minister for Petroleum and Energy Kare Fostervold read a welcome letter on behalf of Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway; and Head of Mission of the European Union in Azerbaijan Malena Mard read a welcome letter on behalf of the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger.
The exhibition successfully highlighted the main aspects of the glorious history of the oil country and the prospects for the next century. Caspian Oil & Gas is the largest event in the region, demonstrating the best achievements of Azerbaijan in economics, science and technology. This year the exhibition occupied three exhibition halls and the outdoor area. The space consisted of sections for innovative technologies in the field of oil production and the transportation of energy resources, the provision of oil and gas storage systems, and existing and future oil and gas projects in the region.
In connection with it being the Year of Industry in Azerbaijan, special attention was given to oil and gas equipment displays. Herewith a considerable number of exhibitors emphasized the importance of protecting the environment during the development of new international oil and gas projects. Azeri and foreign experts believe that environmental protection should take global priority.
Today Azerbaijan is known throughout the world as an oil and gas producing country. The energy security of any state is directly related to its national security. The exhibition is a multifaceted event and clearly reflected the value of Azerbaijanís oil strategy. The period between the signing of the Contract of the Century and the first oil extraction was, probably, the shortest in history - it took only three years. This is a world record. In 1997 the Chirag platform produced its first oil. The whole world's attention is focused on the implementation of modern global projects, such as Shah Deniz-2, TANAP and TAP.
The constant updating and expansion of the membership of Caspian Oil & Gas demonstrates the unfading interest in it among the global oil and gas community. Overall the exhibition has grown by ten per cent on last year. Over 70% of the exhibition space was taken by companies with a global reputation, including direct participants in the Contract of the Century - SOCAR, BP, Statoil, TPAO and Lukoil. For debutants Caspian Oil & Gas has become a launch pad for business expansion in the Caspian Sea region and entrance to the Azerbaijani market. Local companies accounted for 35% of the participants.
For the second consecutive year a ĎMeet the Buyerí event was held at the exhibition. This event is organized by BP Azerbaijan and its partners in Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG), Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), Shah Deniz and the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP). The event was attended by local companies specializing in the field of operational support, engineering, construction, logistics, waste collection and disposal, and various other business services.
Within the framework of the exhibition both company presentations and seminars were held and attended by a wide audience of representatives from the oil and gas industry.† On 4 June Intertech Corporation hosted a seminar on the topic of ĎModern analytical equipment for the oil industry and the environmentí.
Most exhibitors usually feel the exhibitionís practical benefits on the first day. By this point over half of the participants have already met with potential customers or prospective partners at their stands. Many exhibitors enjoyed the opportunity to establish business contacts, and to resolve issues of mutually beneficial cooperation with local entrepreneurs. This was aided by the high attendance figures for Caspian Oil & Gas, and the huge interest in the event shown by energy resource market players.
The general sponsor of this yearís exhibition was SOCAR. The gold sponsors were BP Azerbaijan and Baker Hughes, and the silver sponsors were Nobel Oil Ltd and Caspian Drilling Company. The bronze sponsors were SVAP BP Ltd, Dassault Systèmes, SNF Vostok, Azfen JV, Azeri MI Drilling Fluids, Bos Shelf, RussNeft, Caspian Marine Services, and Tekfen Construction & Installation Co., INC. The official car of Caspian Oil & Gas 2014 was Toyota.