As Azerbaijan enjoys its relatively newfound status among oil- rich nations, it’s looking to join the seemingly endless race to construct the world’s tallest tower. Azerbaijan’s Avesta Group has announced that they are hoping to build a $2 billion, 3,444 foot tall tower in the former Soviet Republic. This would place it at 720 feet above present title holder, the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai. Its height will also surpass that of Saudi Arabia’s 3280 foot Kingdom Tower, which is still in development with completion slated for 2017.
Plans unveiled for the kilometer high tower show that it will take the form of a cluster of cylinders located around a lofty central core. Azerbaijan Tower will be the centerpiece of a $100 billion mixed use development project on the man-made Khazar Islands. Plans for the chain of 41 islands, located in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Baku, are about as modest as the proposed tower. With island-building scheduled for completion in 2022, Khazar Islands will provide accommodation for one million residents, and will include over 150 schools, 50 hospitals and its own Formula 1 race track.
No word yet on if this tower will include any green features. Developers do claim, however, that it will able to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. With plans to break ground on Azerbaijan’s island tower in 2015 and complete construction by 2019, it looks as though Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower may still have a couple of years to enjoy its moment in the sun.
Once the proud 150,000+ capital city of Azerbaijan this dense and thriving city was taken by the Armenians and utterly trashed, vandalized and then abandoned. However, the Armenians still claim the territory as their own so no one has returned to reclaim the wrecked and ravished ruins of the city. However, some explorers still make their way to photograph what is left of this city whose residents may never see it again.
Ağdam (also, Agdam and Aghdam) was a town in the southwestern part of Azerbaijan and the capital of its Agdam Rayon. In July 1993, after heavy fighting, Agdam was captured by the forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic during its 1993 summer offensives. As the town fell, its entire population fled eastwards. In the immediate aftermath of the fighting, the Armenian forces decided to destroy much of Agdam to prevent its recapture by Azerbaijan. More damage occurred in the following decades when the deserted town was looted for building materials. Agdam is currently a ruinous, uninhabited ghost town. The town’s large mosque also survives in bad condition.
Asymptote Architecture‘s ecological improvement proposal for the capital city of Azerbaijan features a new cultural causeway linking its historic district to new architectural landmarks. The master plan uses natural remediation to refurbish the ecological environment of Baku Bay reviving the city’s coastline and the Caspian Sea.
Off the coast of Azerbaijan sits what remains of one of the strangest organically-evolved cities in the world. Oily Rocks started with a single path out over the water, built on the backs of ships sunken to serve as foundations. This system of paths grew and evolve to serve the oil-drilling industry and eventually were widened to create space for houses, schools, libraries and shops for the workers and their families. Today, most of it sits abandoned and some paths and buildings have sunk back under the surf never to be seen again.
It was the stuff of legends, that night of November 7, 1949. Out there on the trestles hovering over the depths of the sea, nobody could sleep that night. If their calculations were correct, it would be the historical night everyone had been waiting for, the culmination of years of work. There, off the coast of Azerbaijan, would mark the first time oil had been recovered from depths in the sea.
And just as predicted, it happened. Oil was struck at a depth of 1,100 meters beneath the Caspian. And when that black, thick fountain started to pour forth, no one could contain their excitement and exuberance. Everyone rushed to feel it, to put their hands in it and smear it all over their arms and faces, hugging each other and shouting for joy. Their hard work had finally proved successful.
A new name was coined that night: no longer would the place be known as “Black Rocks.” The source of the “black” that passing ships had noted even a hundred years earlier, had finally been confirmed. Henceforth, it would be called “Oily Rocks” (Neft Dashlari).
Members of that first expeditionary team often used to recall that night that took place nearly 50 years ago. The group was led by Aghagurban Aliyev, a geologist and Yusif Safarov, Deputy Head of the Exploration Drilling Trust, who was responsible for determining exactly where they should drill. Mikhail Kavyorochkin headed up the Exploration Drilling Trust.
The Oil Rocks Drilling Platform is located in Neft Daşları. A full town on the sea, it was the first oil platform in Azerbaijan. It was built in 1947 as an exercise of Soviet and Azeri ambition. The Oil Rocks lies 45–50 km (28–31 mi) offshore on the Caspian Sea and extracts oil from the shallow water portion of the Absheron geological trend. The most distinctive feature of the Oil Rocks is that it is actually a functional city with a population of about 5,000 and over 200 km (120 mi) of streets built on piles of dirt and landfill. Most of the inhabitants work on shifts; a week on Oil Rocks followed by a week on the shore. The small city includes shops, school and a library. After almost 60 years the Oil Rocks is still quite unusual as Azerbaijan’s first and largest oil platform.
Once the pearl of Azerbaijan’s industry, the Oily Rocks rig teeters on the brink of ruin — even as the region ushers in a coming oil boom. Is there a future for the world’s oldest drilling platform, and for its workers?Marcel Theroux reports from the Caspian Sea.
BAKU, Azerbaijan — The men from Pennzoil refuse to say they got burned in Azerbaijan, but they do concede that doing business there is a long haul.
“Business is not a sprint here, it’s a marathon,” said Paul Justice, Pennzoil’s vice president for public affairs.
The Houston-based company now has a 10 percent stake in the international consortium exploiting three Caspian Sea oil fields. But they have also been involved in a natural gas project that has run less smoothly. The project is now up and running, but Pennzoil has not yet been paid the $150 million it is owed for it.