Azerbaijan’s oil was repeatedly described in the works of medieval scholars and travelers as a great source of income. But at that time oil was used only as a domestic fuel, for medicinal and military purposes.

  • As the traveler Marco Polo wrote in the 14th century, people in this region used oil for medicinal purposes as well as for export to adjacent countries.
  • Inscriptions on a stone recently found in a well in Balakhany, say that the well was drilled by the foreman Allahyar Mammad Nuroghlu in 1594.



A turning point in oil production was reached in the 19th century, and in 1847 the first oil wells were drilled at Bibiheybat (using mechanical methods) and then at Balakhany with the help of modern technology.


The first oil refinery (facility) was built in the city of Baku. The refinery mainly produced white oil


A deep well pump was applied for the first time. This event preceded the application of similar equipment in the USA, 15 years later.


The Nobel brothers founded an oil production and processing company in Baku. The brothers' assets include a number of oil fields, oil refineries, the world's first oil tanker in the Caspian Sea, numerous barges, railways, hotels and more.


The construction of the railway connecting the oil fields with the refineries was started with the financing of the "Nobel Brothers" company and completed in April 1879.



In terms of absolute volume of oil extracted, Baku's oil industry ranked first in the world with a production of 11.5 million tons per year, compared to the US, which produced 9.1 million tons per year ), thus the 11 million tons of crude oil represented 51.5% of world oil production.
The world's longest main oil pipeline, Baku-Batumi, was built at that time.


For the first time, electric logging and measurement of the degree of inclination in the borehole was implemented in Baku, and borehole inclination measuring devices were introduced.


71.4% of total Soviet (USSR) oil was produced by Azerbaijan (23.5 million tons of oil). This production guaranteed the victory of the Soviet Union in World War II and made oil an extremely important factor in the national economy.


Azerbaijan was also the first offshore oil producer in the world. On November 7, 1949, Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea became known to the whole world with the discovery of the Neft Dashlari ("Oil Rocks") field 40 km offshore and 90 km from Baku.


In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Azeri, Chirag, Kapaz and Gunashli fields were discovered in water 80 to 350 meters deep. Gunashli currently produces more than 60% of SOCAR's oil.The billion ton of oil was produced in Azerbaijan.


By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated September 13, 1992, all production units, enterprises and scientific research organizations of the oil and gas industry, including the entire infrastructure of the former Ministry of Oil and Gas were merged into a single structure - the Oil Company of state of the Republic of Azerbaijan, established with the objective of managing Azerbaijan's oil resources in the most efficient way and providing value with these resources.


On September 20, the Joint Development and Production Sharing Agreement for the Azeri, Chirag and Gunashli fields (deepwater) was signed. This agreement later became known as the "Contract of the Century" because of its importance. The agreement was signed by 11 oil companies from 8 countries. This contract with oil companies from the main countries of the world was a sign of wisdom and political courage on the part of the leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev. The contract increased the confidence of the countries of the world in Azerbaijan and encouraged oil companies to come here. This is how it opened its doors to foreign investment. So far, SOCAR and foreign oil companies have signed 32 production sharing agreements.


On June 4, BP, Statoil, LUKAgip, Elf Aquitaine (France) (now TOTAL), OIEC (Iran) (now NICO), TPAO and SOCAR signed a joint development agreement for the Shahdeniz condensate field in Baku.


The Baku-Novorossiysk Northern Export Pipeline was put into operation.


The Western Baku-Supsa export pipeline has been put into operation.



The anniversary of the signing of the "Contract of the Century" - September 20 - is now celebrated annually as Oilman's Day in Azerbaijan.


On May 28, the first oil arrived at the port of Ceyhan through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export pipeline. On July 13, the official opening ceremony of the pipeline took place in the port of Ceyhan.


"South Caucasus Pipeline" Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum was put into operation. the first gas export from Azerbaijan.

SOCAR opens the first representative office in Romania.


Establishment of SOCAR Trading S.A. in Switzerland, in Geneva, to market "Azeri Light Oil" and to increase the general competitiveness on the world markets.

 SOCAR trades oil and oil products with SOCAR Trading based in Switzerland and through its representative offices in 8 countries.

After taking a giant step into Turkey as a sister country and strategic partner, SOCAR acquired PETKIM and accelerated its operations in the country with the objective of making PETKIM one of the largest production centers in Europe. These investments include some gigantic projects such as: STAR Refinery with a capacity of 10 million tons, PETLIM Container Terminal with a starting capacity of 1.5 million TEU, power plants with a capacity of 1500 MW and gas storage facilities liquids.


SOCAR built a fuel distribution chain composed of 47 gas stations in Ukraine, important in the European and Balkan region.

In addition, SOCAR has invested in oil, gas and fuel distribution operations in Georgia. Having 112 filling stations in this country, the company operates under the SOCAR brand.
SOCAR also acquired the fuel distribution brand ESSO (Exxon Mobil), which operates a wide distribution network in Switzerland.

SOCAR's entry into the Romanian oil market, the opening of the first 13 gas stations under the SOCAR brand.


Two billion tons of oil production was produced in Azerbaijan.


The STAR refinery was inaugurated in an international ceremony. This was achieved with an investment value of 6.3 billion dollars by SOCAR, Turkey's largest foreign direct investor.

TANAP - The Silk Road for Energy - was opened in a ceremony held in Eskişehir with the participation of the presidents of the two states.

SOCAR Turkey won the tender for nine gas stations in Istanbul Airport.

The Southern Gas Corridor project is officially opened in Baku.


The Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP), the last segment of the Southern Gas Corridor, has begun transporting commercial gas from Azerbaijan.