Azerbaijan is key to Europe’s energy security

Azerbaijan is key to Europe’s energy security, said Art McHaffie, a former senior Amoco executive and now an honorary consul for Azerbaijan, reported.

“When I first arrived in Azerbaijan in November 1994, assigned by the U.S. oil company Amoco Corporation to a joint venture consortium, signs of economic crisis were everywhere. Grocery store shelves were bare. Infrastructure was in decay after years of neglect under Soviet rule. Now, more than 20 years later, Azerbaijan and its capital Baku are hubs of economic activity, providing the West with a reliable trade and energy ally in an uncertain region. The country’s oil and gas industry has largely driven its transformation and growth.”

“In the mid-1990s, after restoring domestic order and forging a ceasefire with Armenia, then-Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev made oil a national priority. Amoco and nine other companies joined with Azerbaijan’s state energy company, SOCAR, in a billion-dollar bet to develop oil in the Caspian Sea. At the time, this deal was referred to as the “contract of the century,” bringing economic potential to Azerbaijan and the region.”

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