Having played a crucial role in Azerbaijan’s formation and development, Heydar Aliyev left an indelible mark in history of Azerbaijan. "Azerbaijan & Heydar Aliyev" – is a special project of Trend News Agency, dedicated to the 100-th anniversary of the national leader, which will cover key events of Heydar Aliyev's work in the years of him leading Azerbaijan.
June 6, 2000. Heydar Aliyev took part in the opening of the Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition - a key international event related to the Caspian region at that time. Namely Baku was a point of attraction for global players and leading countries of the world to the entire region - and this was achieved thanks to the efforts and oil strategy of Heydar Aliyev.
Only thanks to the high authority of Heydar Aliyev and the political dialogues of the heads of state and government, constant negotiations with representatives of the business community, the heads of oil companies managed to reach the signing an interstate agreement on the transportation of Azerbaijani oil to Türkiye, which took place during the OSCE Summit in Istanbul on November 18, 1999, in the "Chiragan" Palace.
The agreement was signed by Heydar Aliyev, then-President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze and then-President of Türkiye Suleyman Demirel, but the declaration was also signed by President of the US Bill Clinton, President of Kazakhstan - Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Turkmenistan - Saparmurat Niyazov.
Speaking at the opening of the event, Heydar Aliyev stressed that realization of oil strategy of Azerbaijan has caused interest by the large oil companies of many countries, and in a short term, from the historical point of view - within 5-6 years Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea have turned to one of the largest oil and gas centers of the world.
"For a short time, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan signed 19 contracts with the large oil companies of the world; volume of investments planned for realization of these contracts, exceeds $50 billion. We note with satisfaction that today in other sectors of the Caspian Sea discovery, investigation of oil and gas deposits was started, good results were received in many cases, realization of practical works was started by each near - Caspian state in its sector. Thus, the Caspian Sea basin has turned already to one of the largest oil regions of the world. We are proud that we have begun this work. We are proud that we have opened rich oil and gas resources of the Caspian Sea to world economy, world community. We are proud that today other near-Caspian countries - Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran - together with Azerbaijan have started development of oil and gas deposits in sectors of the Caspian Sea belonging them," the national leader noted at the time.
Heydar Aliyev also outlined the prospects that the opening of the pipeline would open for Azerbaijan and other Caspian states.
Heydar Aliyev also foresaw the huge potential of the Shah Deniz deposit. In his speech, he reminded that in 1996 the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan and many foreign companies signed a contract on the joint development of the Shah Deniz deposit in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.
"Today with feeling of boundless pride I inform you that this contract has yielded now fine results. Two wells, drilled there, showed an opportunity to get more than one billion cubic meter of gas on the deposit "Shahdeniz". As a whole, under the forecasts of our experts - their forecasts have always been justified and I am very glad that there are such broadminded experts in Azerbaijan, - at least extraction of four billions cubic meter of gas is expected in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. Today we think to solve a question on gas export in the future to the world markets and we take practical measures for this purpose. I consider that together with the companies working with us and their states we will solve it too," Heydar Aliyev had said.
In present days, 23 years later, the citizens of Azerbaijan have a great opportunity to see every day how all the estimates of Heydar Aliyev have become a reality. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and the Southern Gas Corridor - these two colossal projects have not just become a reality: today they are of critical importance for the entire continent.