Summer 2002 (10.2)
BP Current Developments
Job Opportunities for the Local Workforce
Above: The Shah Deniz signing ceremony in
Tbilisi. From left to right: Natig Aliyev, President of SOCAR,
Giorgi Chanturia, President of CIOC (Caspian International Oil
Company), David Woodward, President of BP in Azerbaijan, and
Mehmet Ali Kaya of TPAO.
The Phase 1 project, which targets
development of the central part of the Azeri field in the BP-operated
Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli contract, is expanding construction
activities in Azerbaijan. The project involves a growing number
of Azerbaijan's skilled workforce, including more than 3,000
local construction jobs at the peak of activity. Three-quarters
of the in-country construction manpower will be Azerbaijani citizens.
In terms of man-hours, more than 80 percent of the entire project
will be local labor.
Left: Upgrade and construction works in full
swing at the ShelfProjectStroy (SPS) yard.
At the peak of construction,
the Sangachal Terminal expansion project is expected to involve
more than 1,000 Azerbaijani citizens working with the construction
contractors. Many of the Terminal construction workers will come
directly from the area around the Terminal, including Sahil,
Sangachal village, other Garadagh villages and possibly the refugee
camp Umid (Hope) in the Garadagh district. The current construction
contractor for the Terminal expansion is the Tekfen/Azfen Consortium,
a company with a major local partner. The contractor has committed
itself to the use of these local resources.
To make the local community aware of these employment opportunities,
the contractors with AIOC have set up small information/employment
offices at Sahil, the Sangachal village and the Umid camp. These
centers, which are managed by Tekfen/Azfen, have already registered
more than 5,000 candidate workers. Interviews started in April.
In addition to the 75 workers who were employed through the database
of these information offices, more than 75 were interviewed and
35 were selected.
SPS Construction Site
The project's major construction contractors, McDermott, Saipem
and Bouygues, are implementing a substantial part of their activities
under Phase 1 at SOCAR's ShelfProjectStroy (SPS) construction
site. These contractors are working closely with SPS and have
involved a large number of local workers.
BP has initiated a plan
to protect the Spur-Thighed Tortoise, a species impacted by construction
activities in the Sangachal expansion area.
To date, Saipem has involved more than 180 local workers in transport
and installation activities, accounting for more than 70 percent
of the total workforce. Bouygues has recruited more than 300
local workers for jacket, piles and drilling template fabrication
activities. In addition, SPS has provided McDermott with a list
of 600 names from the SPS labor pool.
More than 500 local workers have already been involved in the
removal of old equipment, equipment repair/maintenance, marine
crewing of the pipe lay barge Israfil Huseynov and SPS quayside
repair works. The ultimate target is to use 700-800 people in
the works related to the fabrication of the Phase 1 Drilling
and Quarters platform topsides and offshore pipelines.
To make sure that there are enough local workers to execute these
world-scale projects, the Phase 1 contractors, along with AIOC,
have developed extensive training programs for the workforce.
These programs are structured to cover all of the relevant skills
required to complete the job to the highest international standards.
A key part of company policy is that extensive training in HSE
(Health, Safety and the Environment) and ethics be provided for
Much of the training is provided locally, though, as a key part
of the ACG Phase 1 topsides contract, around 200 Azerbaijani
nationals are receiving extensive practical training in fabrication
techniques in Dubai.
Phase 1 Pre-Drilling
The Phase 1 drilling program will be conducted in three stages:
pre-drilling, platform wells and sidetracks. The first stage
of drilling has already begun, with the Dada Gorgud rig currently
being used to drill the first of the nine pre-drill wells.
The first well, with a programmed total depth of 2,569m in 127m
of water, will approximately three months to drill. Then, the
drilling rig will be moved off location to allow a subsea template
to be installed over the wellhead. The eight remaining pre-drill
wells will be drilled through this template. Of the nine wells,
eight will be production wells and one will be a cuttings re-injection
well. The Phase 1 Pre-drill program will be completed in 2003.
Two of BP's local employees, Rafael Suleymanov and Elnur Amikishiyev,
have recently qualified for the UK's Chartered Institute of Management
Accountants (CIMA). They are the first Azerbaijani citizens to
ever receive these Western-standard commercial business manager
certificates. The skills they have acquired through CIMA will
enable them to have multidisciplinary careers not only in the
finance department but also in commerce, consultancy, government,
the public sector, or marketing, commercial and planning departments.
Both Amikishiyev and Suleymanov are graduates of the Azerbaijan
State University of Economics. It took them three years of hard
work to complete this program in parallel with their day-to-day
work at BP. The company has been supportive of their efforts,
as it wants to see its employees trained to international standards
through Western qualifications. The skills they gain and the
application of their international qualifications will not only
benefit themselves and the company but also Azerbaijan and its
An AIOC survey of the plants and animals around the terminal
expansion area established that a number of species of local
and global importance are found in the area and may be affected
by construction activities. One of these is the Spur-Thighed
Tortoise. This species is particularly vulnerable due to the
fact that it hibernates in winter and thus can be easily injured
during earth works.
To lessen any harmful impact on this species, AIOC has initiated
a Spur-Thighed Tortoise Conservation Plan. The company plans
to breed tortoises in a special enclosure simulating conditions
that are close to natural conditions, in order to avoid a loss
in net population. Any tortoises found during construction will
be carefully transferred to tortoise boxes and allowed to hibernate
The conservation plan is intended to help spread awareness and
increase knowledge of this species and will include educational
programs at local schools. To date, eight tortoises have been
found and taken care of as part of the conservation plan activity.
In the future, the company plans to actively involve local NGOs,
well-known experts and scientists as well as students in this
The Shah Deniz project partners signed the Host Government Agreement
(HGA) with Georgia in March. The signing ceremony took place
at the Sheraton Hotel, where Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze
and other senior officials witnessed the signing.
The HGA signing represents a significant milestone for the Shah
Deniz project, marking the transition into the final stage of
engineering, tendering and commercial development work, which
will lead up to the planned sanction of the project in July 2002.
This agreement was the final step toward Shah Deniz sanctioning,
paving the way for the development of the world-class Shah Deniz
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