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An oil-rich country plagued by conflict on the Caspian Sea

date of entry 16/05/2006
mileage 537,501

capital Baku

area 86.600 km²

population 9.477.100

GDP 62,321 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Azerbaijani

The Caspian Sea coast has been an important oil-producing region for decades. The oil is often only a few metres below the surface, and easy to drill. Abandoned rigs litter the coast, which is polluted in many places. The country is in dispute with neighbouring Armenia over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan has an exclave, Nakhchivan, from which it is separated by Armenian territory.
  • Jack-up rigs are platforms that plant their legs in the sea bed and then elevate themselves above the water to create a secure basis for drilling.
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  • Welcome to Baku - Azerbaijan’s capital, lies on the Caspian Sea. Gunther and Otto found many relics of the former Soviet Socialist Republic.
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  • Downtown Baku is full of wedding-cake Stalinist architecture: this is the government building. The country has long been in conflict with neighbouring Armenia.
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  • The coast of the Caspian Sea is dotted with rusting oil rigs, many abandoned years ago. These are all that remains of the onshore industry, which lasted for decades.
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  • Today the oil comes from offshore, and new drilling platforms are being built in the port.
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  • Video: Azerbaijan: Otto comes under attack