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BP joins the list of Azerbaijan’s enemies

BP joins the list of Azerbaijan’s enemies

Ilham Aliyev becomes increasingly unpredictable for the international community, and there is nothing left but pull him up.

British Petroleum (BP) has joined the list of “ill-wishers”, or even enemies or Ilham Aliyev and the whole independent Azerbaijan. Aliyev accused the company of drastic reduction of oil production in Caspian shelf Azeri and Chirag oil fields.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Speaking at a governmental session discussing the outcomes of the country’s social-economic development in the first nine months of the current year, Aliyev declared: “Numerous mistakes of the consortium resulted in drastic decrease of oil production in Azeri and Chirag oil fields over the past years”, adding that the decline was recorded since 2008. The president claimed that the volumes of the distributed profitable oil were altered to make 75/25 in Azerbaijan’s favour, and noted that Azerbaijan received $8,1billion less income. Aliyev went further to stress that “erroneous forecasts are unacceptable” and “such relations are impossible in the international business”.

However, BP is not to blame for this - ten years ago experts stated that reserves of Baku oil are not endless, expected to be exhausted by 2017. The administration of Azerbaijani president took no heed to the voice of reason and is now actually paying for its mistakes. British Petroleum has nothing to do with this; Aliyev will blame another company next, then SOCAR’s turn will come as well.

The problem seems to have a quite different aspect. Ilham Aliyev becomes increasingly unpredictable for the international community, and there is nothing left but pull him up. Still, nobody will rebuke him too toughly: presidential elections are due in almost a year. It may also “turn out” during this year that Baku uses another Caspian sector, in particular, Turkmenistan’s and Iranian one, for oil production. And if the West may forgive infringement of Iranian oil, it will hardly overlook the use of Turkmenistan’s one.

It is worth reminding that Baku fixed its eyes on Turkmenistan in early July. The reason lies in the Caspian oil fields; both Azerbaijan and Ashgabat claiming ownership of these. Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry disseminated a press release saying: “The Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan declares that official diplomatic notes have repeatedly been sent to Azerbaijan with regard to Azerbaijan’s unilateral illegal actions in Caspian Sea, namely the illegal development of Omar and Osman oil fields, as well as unlawful claims on Serdar oil field.”

In its official statement, Turkmenistan voiced its readiness to continue the negotiation process over the issue above, emphasizing that in case no bilateral agreement is reached, Turkmenistan reserves the right to address the international court and arbitration instances.

In addition, on August 4, 2009 Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry published the country’s official stance on the Caspian Sea bed delimitation, which also mentioned the expediency of applying to the International Court.”

Meanwhile, all countries of the basin are building up their military potential, and all talks may simply end up in hostilities between them. Currently the major challenge of the region is namely the Caspian issue, and to some extent, the Karabakh conflict resolution depends on how it will be settled. Baku faces another danger as well – the indigenous nations of Azerbaijan, Talysh, Lezgian, Udi people which constitute the main staff of Azerbaijani armed forces. They will hardly believe Baku’s promises again and fight for alien interests.

Aliyev is now threatening BP whose power and influence cannot be compared to ambitions of official Baku. So, there are two options here: oil companies will either increase the oil production, which is unreal, or they will gradually withdraw the assets. The latter seems more feasible. Despite this, the big game is still to come, and Aliyev’s future depends more on Iran that on the West; unlike Erdogan, Iran will not be too polite with its “fellow Muslims”.

Karine Ter-Sahakian
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