President Aliyev: Azerbaijan is birthplace of oil industry
Azerbaijan, which has been linked with oil for centuries, became a famous frontrunner in the world's oil and gas industry in the 19th century. In 1846 more than a decade before the Americans made their famous discovery of oil in Pennsylvania - Azerbaijan drilled its first oil well in Bibiheybat.
Historical sources and documents, found in recent years in the Central State Historical Archive of Russia, also prove that the drilling of industrial wells in the world began on Bibiheybat.
President Ilham Aliyev viewed on April 26 the newly reconstructed well in SOCAR's Bibiheybat field, the world`s first mechanically drilled oil facility.
Addressing the oil-men the head of state said that Azerbaijan is the birthplace of oil and the oil industry began from here.
“Today, when almost 200 years have passed, Azerbaijan makes its voice heard in the world as an oil and gas country,” the President noted.
At that time Azerbaijan was part of tsarist Russia and the natural resources extracted here did not particularly affect the welfare of Azerbaijani people, President Aliyev said, adding that people experienced poverty then.
“The Azerbaijani people possessed great wealth, but could not use it. Azerbaijan also proved itself in the Soviet period as an oil republic. Without merits of Azerbaijani oil workers the results of the Second World War could be quite different. The Azerbaijani oil industry played a decisive role in the victory over fascism,” he said.
President Aliyev said that this year Azerbaijan will celebrate the extraction of two billion tons of oil. “Imagine if Azerbaijan was an independent country [at the time], now it would be one of the richest countries in the world,” the head of state said.
Azerbaijan is a country where first industrial method of oil production was applied.
“We knew that this was on the territory of Bibiheybat, but now its exact location has been identified and a wonderful monument has been created here. I think that this is a great event for both oilmen and tourists arriving in our country,” he said. “It is a historic event. We are visually demonstrating to the whole world this historical truth. I am sure that all guests coming to our country will come here with great interest and make a photograph here on the background of this rig,” he said.
Today Azerbaijani oil serves our people and strengthens our state, said Ilham Aliyev.
“Look, the whole territory is still full of oil rigs, and the first well was drilled here. There are photos, video footage of this territory. These are the frames of recent history. There was a zone of ecological catastrophe here. Everything from oil dams to old towers was polluted with oil. Now this territory has turned into one of the most comfortable places of our city. That is, we use oil revenues for the development of our country, invest in human capital and infrastructure projects, and today oil provides development of the Azerbaijani people,” he noted.
President Aliyev stressed that Azerbaijan, which exists for 25 years as an independent state, is now stands firm on the ground.
“Oil is our natural wealth, a great asset of our people, and we, using it, are developing our country. Of course, oil workers' working here is also worthy of special evaluation. I always appreciate the work of the oil workers, their courage. They work in difficult conditions and they work for the development of our country. They strive to strengthen our country with their labor,” President said.