Energy Working Group: Heidi Hjaernet on the Petroleum Sector Management in Azerbaijan



Date and Time

October 19, 2010 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


By Invitation Only.


Encina Hall Stanford University

FSI Contact

Heidi Kjærnet will be presenting her paper "Petroleum sector management in Azerbaijan: A case study of the national oil company SOCAR". The paper focuses on the interactions between the Azerbaijani government and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, SOCAR, and explores the complex interconnections between the government and its national oil company (NOC). In the post-Soviet period, SOCAR has played the role as the national partner in consortiums with international oil companies producing oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan, as well as having important policy tasks and social responsibilities.

The paper argues that there is a profound lack of separation of commercial and regulatory responsibility in the Azerbaijani petroleum sector. While Azerbaijan is certainly giving preferential treatment to SOCAR, Heidi argues Baku is less likely to follow the example of Kazakhstan in pursuing a resource nationalist line through curtailing the activities of international oil companies due to the Azerbaijani government's ambitions for regional leadership in the South Caucasus, and its strong commitment to cooperating with the international oil companies.

Heidi's research on SOCAR and Azerbaijan is a part of her PhD dissertation with the working title "Petroleum, politics and power: The National Oil Companies of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia".


Heidi Kjærnet is a Fulbright Visiting Researcher at the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) at Stanford University.  She is visiting from the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the Fridtjof Nansen Institute where she is a Research Fellow.

She holds an MA in Russia and Post-Soviet Affairs from the University of Oslo. She has taken intensive Russian language courses at the Norwegian Center in St Petersburg and interned at the Royal Norwegian Embassy to Azerbaijan. Currently she is a PhD student in Political Science at the University of Tromso.

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