On 20 September 1994, in Gulistan Palace in the capital city of Baku, eleven companies from seven countries signed an agreement on the exploration and development of the oil and gas reserves in the Azerbaijani part of the Caspian Sea. In addition to Azerbaijan, representatives from energy companies in the USA, UK, Russia, Turkey, Norway, Japan and Saudi Arabia were party to this agreement. The partners to the contract agreed on an investment volume of some 64 billion US dollars, a programme that provided huge impetus to the energy industry in Azerbaijan. Some of the most important projects in the “Contract of the Century” are the crude oil pipelines from Baku to Novorossijsk in Russia as well as a crude oil pipeline towards the west to the Georgian port of Supsa. The first tankers filled with Azerbaijani oil left this port in December 1999. In the same year the decision was also made to build the crude oil export pipeline from Baku through Tiflis in Georgia to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The foundation stone for this energy masterpiece was laid at the end of 2002. Oil started flowing through it in July 2006. Gas from Azerbaijan is also flowing as far as Turkey by the same route.
20 September 1994: Companies from seven countries signed an agreement on the exploration and development of the oil and gas reserves in the Azerbaijani part of the Caspian Sea
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the “Agreement of the Century”, the Azerbaijani Government invited representatives to celebrations in the capital city of Baku this Tuesday. Among the guests was Jeremy Ellis, Head of Business Development at RWE Supply & Trading. Ellis is also responsible for the RWE shareholding in the Nabucco gas pipeline project as well as business development in the Caspian region and Azerbaijan. Even though RWE was not yet present when the “Contract of the Century” was signed, Ellis emphasised the significance of the Caspian state for Nabucco. “Azerbaijan has repeatedly announced its intention to supply gas to Europe and has earmarked an annual 13 billion cubic metres from the Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea for export to the West” said Ellis. In addition, he remarked that the invitation to Baku demonstrated how important RWE was for Azerbaijan.
President Ilham Aliyev
At the EU summits in Budapest in January this year and in Prague in May, Azerbaijani President IIham Alijev reconfirmed that he intends to diversify the export channels and sales markets for Azerbaijani gas. He expressed the hope that the Nabucco project would be implemented quickly. At the signing ceremony for the Intergovernmental Agreement on Nabucco in Ankara, Azerbaijan's Minister for Industry and Energy Natiq Alijev said, “I am convinced that this project will be a success. Azerbaijan is the corridor for this project. Once Nabucco has been implemented, the position of our country on the world market will be reinforced”. When the first gas flows through Nabucco from the eastern border of Turkey all the way through to Austria and then on to the consumer centres, the majority will initially be Azerbaijani gas. This is another reason why RWE is in close contact with the Azerbaijani government in order to develop an extensive energy partnership. This includes having a permanent presence in the region. RWE Dea opened a representative office in Baku on 2 July for this purpose. And on 27 August an RWE delegation visited Ilham Alijev, Head of State of Azerbaijan. RWE CEO Juergen Grossmann, Stefan Judisch, CEO von RWE Supply & Trading and Joschka Fischer, political advisor on Nabucco hired by RWE and OMV, spoke to Alijev on this occasion. Gas supply contracts to be signed in the first half of the coming year also played an important role in these discussions.