Historical background to the document "Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the ceremony on launching Chirag-1 platform, extracting oil (November 12, 1997)"

New oil strategy of Azerbaijan was founded by the signature of the Contract of the Century on joint development of three oil-rich deposits in the Azerbaijan Sector of the Caspian Sea with foreign oil companies on September 20, 1994.

Designed for implementing technical, financial and organizational issues, the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) started the production of the early oil in Chirag-1 deposit three years later - on November 12, 1997. On the same day, Heydar Aliyev met the Azerbaijani and foreign oil workers, who marked the occasion as an important event on the offshore oil platform. Together with the first deputy prime minister of Russia Boris Nemtsov, British minister of state Derrick Futchet, Heydar Aliyev headed by helicopter to Chirag-1 platform 120 km off the coast. Heydar Aliyev and the foreign guests were met on the platform by AIOC President Terry Adams, SOCAR President Natig Aliyev, first vice-president of SOCAR Ilham Aliyev and platform manager Hugh Oliver. Then pumping the early oil to the 176-km-long subwater pipeline connecting the platform with the onshore terminal started.

“90 Instants of the Great leader”, Heydar Aliyev Heritage research center, “Sharq-Qarb”, Baku-2013, p.104