"In today's successful development of Azerbaijan, we see the manifestation of steps taken precisely in those years. We see that, along with all the other contributions of great leader Heydar Aliyev, his deeds for the people and the state in this area deserve the highest praise. We, his followers, continue to work in this direction".said President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at the ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Contract of the Century and Oil Workers Day at the Heydar Aliyev Center, APA reports.
Head of state noted that new contracts are being signed today, great interest is being shown in the oil and gas industry of Azerbaijan: "Azerbaijan has made great strides in the field of international cooperation, in the energy sector. Taking this opportunity, I want to recognize the activities of our strategic partner BP. BP is our key partner in major strategic projects. Our cooperation in the development of both the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli and Shah Deniz fields, TANAP and the recently signed contracts is long-term – it has a history of 25 years. This cooperation will be continued for at least another 25-30 years".
President of Azerbaijan noted that the Contract of the Century brings multifaceted benefits to our country and people. One of them is the training of personnel: "I remember that when we were working on the contract in 1994, we emphasized that we wanted it to indicate the issue of attracting Azerbaijani citizens to work. We wanted this to be a commitment for companies of the consortium – Azerbaijani specialists should gradually work in all key positions, and this has happened. Of course, in the early years the majority was made up of expatriate specialists. However, the trainings conducted by foreign companies and Azerbaijan have contributed to the creation of capable human resources. I am told that trained specialists are now involved in important BP projects not only in Azerbaijan, but also in many other countries. And they are working in senior roles. More than 90 percent of those working in the development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oil field are Azerbaijani citizens. We have achieved that. This is a huge asset. Oil and gas are exhaustible resources, while intellectual potential, knowledge, literacy, competence, experience – this is unchanging wealth. Azerbaijani citizens, trained specialists are doing a great job today and making a huge contribution to the development of our country".
President Ilham Aliyev also stated that oil revenues have been used in the development of the country's economy: "We have channelled them into that. The infrastructure has been completely upgraded. Remember the state of our infrastructure in 1994 and see what state it is in now. At that time, even half of Baku could not receive natural gas. In the regions, this was completely out of the question. Today, gasification in Azerbaijan constitutes 96 percent. We have built gas lines to the most remote mountain villages, and this process continues. I have asked the State Oil Company not to stop this work. Of course, 96 percent is a very large figure. Only a handful of countries conduct gasification at such a level. But we must continue it. In those years, half of our country was left without electricity. There was a shortage even in Baku. Sometimes even television channels stopped working at midnight so that people used less electricity because there was a shortage of it. Today, about 3,000 megawatts of new generation capacities have been created, and we not only provide for ourselves, but also export".