by Daniel J. Graeber
Baku, Azerbaijan (UPI) Sep 2, 2014
Azerbaijan and BP announced plans to build a national workforce to help develop the country's oil and gas industry, officials said.
Representatives from BP and the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic signed documents in Baku on building a workforce specializing in the oil and natural gas business.
"The memorandum of understanding will allow SOCAR and BP to create a reserve base of national professionals required by Azerbaijan's oil and gas industry and to efficiently use these resources," SOCAR Vice President of Human Resources Khalik Mammadov said in a statement Monday.
BP is working in Azerbaijan on development of the Shah Deniz natural gas field, which is expected to help diversify a European energy sector dependent on Russia.
Pipeline construction for a new European gas network is slated for January and should be completed by 2017. First gas from Phase II of the Shah Deniz gas field is expected by late 2018.
The BP agreement with SOCAR is part of a three-year nationalization plan ending in 2018.
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