Azerbaijan International

Autumn 1998 (6.3)
Page 86

NAOC: Current Developments

North Absheron Operating Company (NAOC) continues to focus on both commercial and humanitarian endeavors in Azerbaijan. During the first year that the company was established, NAOC set the standard for reducing project cycle time between ratification of their contract by Parliament (Milli Mejlis) on February 25, 1997 and the successful drilling and testing of the first well, Ashrafi-1. This was accomplished in less than 11 months with a streamlined organization designed to improve efficiency and manage costs. Drilling on NAOC's second untested structure, the Dan Ulduzu-1, began in August 1998. The well is programmed to explore to a depth of 3100m.

Above: At the Mingachevir Refugee Housing Project, NAOC management hands over keys to the refugee families. From right to left: Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime Minister Izzet Rustamov, NAOC President Thomas Klockenbrink and NAOC VP Michael Barnes.

Corporate Citizen
NAOC and its shareholders are committed to becoming a leading corporate citizen within the Azerbaijani community through active involvement in humanitarian and cultural activities.

Photo: NAOC sponsors the celebration of the International Day for the Protection of Children at the Zabrat Orphanage on June 1, 1998.

NAOC's first humanitarian project began soon after the NAOC contract was signed in December 1996. Because of the severe shortage of housing for refugees resulting from the war with Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh (in Azeri, Daglig Garabag), NAOC undertook a refugee housing project in the Mingachevir region. It consists of 10 buildings designed to shelter 100 families. The construction was completed in four months between April and July 1997.

NAOC continues to assist in efforts to help the refugees by sponsoring the construction of community centers in several regions including Mingachevir. Many refugees are still living in public buildings, tents and railroad box cars five years after they had to abandon their homes and flee for their lives. In some refugee camps, schools are still held in tents and as there is no access to education, some of these community centers have been designated to serve temporarily as schools for these refugee children.

In addition to the housing project, NAOC is supporting the distribution of foodstuffs from the U.S. military to victims of the war and to orphanages through CounterPart International. NAOC has contributed to the costs for the internal distribution of foodstuffs throughout Azerbaijan.

NAOC's commitment is to render long-term assistance to the needy, especially children. The Zabrat orphanage on the Absheron peninsula is one more example. Their roof was in very poor condition as well as the kitchen, dishwashing room and laundry. NAOC repaired them. Not wanting the kids to miss out on the New Year's celebration - Noruz (March 21), they organized a party and entertainment since such children might not get the chance to enjoy these events the way most children do.

Cultural Sphere
Cultural projects are high on NAOC's list. This year, NAOC sponsored a series of three concerts dedicated to the 80th Jubilee of the well-known composer Gara Garayev (1918-1982), who played an important role in the development of modern Azeri symphonic music.

NAOC also sponsored a ballet to commemorate French composer Saint-Saëns which was performed by the children of the Ballet College. Since opera is highly esteemed in the Azerbaijani community, NAOC has become a Gold Member of the Opera House Trust Fund, which among other projects has undertaken to repair the Opera Studio of the Baku Music Academy.

From Azerbaijan International (6.3) Autumn 1998.
© Azerbaijan International 1998. All rights reserved.

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