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AZERBAIJAN - Rovnag Abdullayev.

The President and CEO of Socar since late 2005, Abdullayev (also known as Rafik) had previously served as special assistant for Natik Aliyev and Socar's spokesman. In June 2006 Abdullayev negotiated with a visiting Israeli delegation headed by the Minister of National Infrastructures Benjamin Ben-Eliezer an initial agreement whereby the Jewish state in future would buy Azeri Light crude oil directly from Socar.

Although Israel has been purchasing Azeri Light from the BP-led AIOC group, this deal was to be a separate arrangement. The Israeli delegation also offered to help Socar in downstream operations, among various projects in which Israeli companies wish to be involved in Azerbaijan.

Khoshbakht Yusifzadeh: For many years the vice president of Socar for exploration and geology, Yusifzadeh has also been in charge of the divisions for production, economics, finance and processing.

The head of Socar's foreign investment division is Valekh Aleskerov. A very experienced executive, Aleskerov is the man who deals with foreign companies involved in Azerbaijan's petroleum sector.

Socar, formed in 1992, has a monopoly of every aspect of the petroleum industry, with more than 75,000 employees, many subsidiaries, four scientific institutes, medical sanatoria and kindergartens. Much of its equipment is obsolete, however, to 40% is in need of repair.

British Petroleum is by far the biggest investor in Azerbaijan and leads foreign companies operating in the petroleum sector. It was in Azerbaijan that the idea of BP buying Amoco was conceived and pursued by BP's CEO John Browne, as BP and Amoco were rival leaders in AIOC.

BP men now head the biggest E&P consortia in Azerbaijan, including David Woodward who is president of AIOC. BP maintains close links with President Bush's special envoy to the Caspian, Steven Mann. Woodward and other top executives of BP have easy access to President Aliyev. BP's CEO Browne was at Ceyhan during the July 13 ceremony which officially inaugurated the BTC crude oil pipeline (see OMT & DT of this week).
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Publication:APS Review Gas Market Trends
Date:Jul 17, 2006
Previous Article:AZERBAIJAN - Natik Aliyev.
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