Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the ceremony on launching Chirag-1 platform, extracting oil, November 12, 1997

"Chirag-1" platform that I have seen today impressed me and I think all those who are here. We witness excellent results of tireless work done in theses three years. The Azerbaijani oilmen created the Azerbaijani oil platform in the Caspian Sea and started the oil production fifty years ago. It was the Azerbaijani oilmen who created the platform in “Chirag” field. But three years ago, after the signature of the "Contract of the Century" with the companies participating in the consortium we revived the platform and now it is brought to this current state.

Today I feel a tremendous sense of pride. At the heart of the Caspian Sea and in the open sea we created such a great platform which meets the highest standards of the world in the field of offshore oil production. I thank everyone who has built, installed and set up the platform, everyone who worked here, experts from many countries assembled here, engineers, technicians and workers. I sincerely congratulate you on the opening of the platform "Chirag-1", and production of oil.

We have laid the foundation of a great work. Undoubtedly, more such platforms will be created on the Caspian Sea as a result of operation of the consortium of the companies involved in the Contract of the Century, of implementation of other agreements. The Caspian oil and gas reserves will greatly contribute to the world economy.

Today it is a holiday in our country, the second anniversary of the adoption of the first Democratic Constitution of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan. This day at the same time is the day of the beginning of a new stage in the development of oil industry of Azerbaijan, which is an ancient oil country. These two holidays merged into a single. They are closely related to each other. I congratulate you on these holidays and thank the foreign guests who have come to "Chirag-1" platform. I wish you peace and happiness.

I wish you good luck! I wish you every success! Thank you.

Terry Adams: Mr. President, we are honored to see you here, among us today. This day is the peak of the work we have done. Perhaps you remember that while speaking in public places I make the quotations from Churchill. Mr. Churchill said beautiful words harmonic to this day. After the first victory in the World War Second, Churchill said: “it is not the end of our work, it is even not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.”

Mr. President, we ask you to open this memorial plaque.

Heydar Aliyev: I confirm the words said by you and Churchill and open the memorial plaque with pleasure.

It was written on the memorial plague:

“In memory of the official visit of His Excellency Heydar Aliyev to "Chirag-1" platform on the occasion of production of the early oil”.

 “Heydar Aliyev: Our independence is eternal” (speeches, statements, interviews, letters, addresses, decrees) – volume 13, “Azerneshr”, Baku – 2004, p. 178-180