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Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan On foundation of the oil museum in Baku city

Azeri oil is the national heritage of the Azerbaijani people. September 20, 1994- the day of signing of the "Contract of the Century" that ensured the implementation of the oil strategy of national leader Heydar Aliyev, is celebrated annually in the Republic of Azerbaijan as a professional holiday – the Day of oil industry workers. This contract was a triumph of our people who for the first time became the owners of their own material wealth, including oil. A new era opened in the history of the oil industry in our country, the foundation for dynamic economic development and a solid foundation for strengthening the economic base of independence have been laid. The main export oil pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, which have become a reality, once again attracted the attention of the world to Azerbaijan, known for centuries as a land of "black gold".

The availability of rich oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan has historically won for Azerbaijan a fame of the Country of fire. Natural eternal fires burning by themselves - oil and gas sources since ancient times were seen here as a miracle, they had a strong influence on people's beliefs and convictions. High-quality black and white oil in Azerbaijan took a special place in the trade along the Silk Road.

In 1847, from the well drilled in Baku in the "Bibiheybat" oil field the oil gusher flowed and that fact was written into the world history as the beginning of commercial production of oil. The pipeline transportation of crude oil was for the first time carried out in Azerbaijan in 1878 via a pipeline laid between the oil fields of the Black city and Balakhani. Construction and commissioning of the Baku-Batumi railroad in 1883 and bringing the oil-trunk pipeline Baku-Batumi into a regular operation in 1907, have played an important role in delivering oil from Baku to world markets. At the end of XIX century the Azerbaijan's share accounted for half of the global oil production, our country ranked first in the world oil production.

The rapid progress of the oil industry increased the inflow of foreign capital in Baku, there was formed a class of local entrepreneurs, consisting of major petroleum producers. The oil factor gave a powerful impetus to the formation of educational movement in the country, the democratic press and the secular theater, and the revival of cultural life in general. In those years there were created gems of architecture that have formed the new and unique guise of Baku, represented by beautiful buildings, reflecting a harmonious unity of the European and Oriental architecture.

The oil, underlying the scientific and technological achievements of the twentieth century, has allowed Azerbaijan to conquer peaks in different areas. Experience in the production of oil gained in this period in our country, and achievements in the field of oil production in the Caspian Sea, are highly rated in the world. At that time, Azerbaijan's oil industry has consistently passed all stages of the technological innovation of production processes. At one time, a variety of drilling methods and innovations were used in the oil industry after they had been tested in our country. Much of what is being done in the world in oil production has its roots in Azerbaijan.

In 1922, the Baku oilmen, for the first time in the world, having drained the bay, started exploiting the offshore oilfield. In 1941, the oil production in Azerbaijan has reached its highest level. During World War II, Baku was producing 75 percent of crude oil in the Soviet Union and 90 percent of aviation gasoline and played a crucial role in the victory over fascism. In 1949, in Baku, in the Oil Rocks, again for the first time in the world, oil production in the open sea began. Petroleum Engineering and the legendary city of Oil Rocks, built for offshore oil production, brought specialists of Azerbaijan to the most advanced positions. New oil regions in the former Soviet Union were assigned the name of the "Second Baku", "Third Baku", indicating the glory of the Azerbaijani oil and oilmen. As a result of targeted measures, carried out in our country in the 70s of last century, the oil industry has become much stronger and its extensive infrastructure was created. New plants and equipment for offshore fields were delivered; the Baku Deepwater Jacket Construction Factory was built. Comprehensive development of oil production, refining and petrochemical industries in the country paved the way for progress in various branches of science associated with the oil. Distinguished scientist and experts were educated in all new fields of oil science, who glorified Baku far outside Azerbaijan as an Oil Academy.

International Exhibitions and Conferences "Caspian Oil & Gas, Oil Refining and Petrochemicals", traditionally held in Baku since 1994, are an indicator of appreciation of the Azerbaijani oil science.
Demonstration of the glorious path passed over one hundred and sixty years by the oil industry, which was a major factor in the development of the economy of the republic, and the success achieved, studying the great history of Azerbaijani oil as one of the very important events in the life of our people, and educating the young generation in the spirit of respect for national values of the homeland necessitates setting up of the Museum of Oil n the country.

Considering formation, rich traditions of the oil industry in Azerbaijan, its exceptional significance in strengthening of the independence and stable growth of the country’s potential, as well as an invaluable contribution to human history, in order to enhance studying and promoting the oil annals of the republic, I decide:

1. Oil Museum is to be set up in the capital of Azerbaijan - Baku.
2. The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, within one month, should submit to the President of the Azerbaijan Republic proposals related to the setting up of the Oil Museum.
3. The Cabinet of Ministers to resolve issues arising from this Decree.
4. This Decree comes into force upon its signature.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Ilham Aliyev
The city of Baku, February 4, 2008