The first oil rush has attracted gangsters, spies and multinationals to frontier city Baku, Azerbaijan. At any hour in Baku you’re likely to run into Turkish “gangsters,” Chechen revolutionaries, Russian spies and oil men of every stripe, looking to make money any way they can. Azerbaijan is a former Soviet Republic located in a disagreeable spot just south of Russia and north of Iran. It is known for nothing except oil and the smell of it is everywhere. I am spending time in Baku, not really focusing on the oil, but everything interconnected to it. The Hyatt Hotel is a central point for business in Baku, top business. I call it the great game 1998 style. Dick D’Amato, president of the Caspian Business Group USA, and Galib Mammad, executive director of the United States Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (“foreign agent for the Azeri Government in the USA?”) confer with Azeri deal makers. Americans lobby for oil and business concessions in Azerbaijan, and Azeries want money and better relations with the U.S. government, especially concerning the
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN–The discovery of oil forever has changed the lands surrounding the Caspian Sea. APF photographer Stanley Greene spent time with workers, showing the rigs that are quickly extracting oil from this new field. The communities surrounding the new oil fields are finding their environment changed by shallow waste wells, construction, and new arrivals. What were once fishing and agricultural villages are now transformed by derricks and docks. The Noble oil fields in Baku Azerbaijan. The seaport of Baku. Walking the shore of Baku. Shallow pools of oily, polluted water are found throughout the port city of Baku. A tribute to oil men has been carved in sandstone at Baku. Workers pick rice in fields adjoining the Caspian oil rigs. Oil workers on Caspian Sea rigs. Oil pipelines stretch along the Baku seaport. Surface water has been polluted by oil overflows along the coast in Baku. ©1999 Stanley Greene Stanley Greene is a freelance photographer, based in Paris, who is examining the oil development in the Caspian Sea region.
On the farthest eastern reaches of Europe lies the Caspian Sea, a milky green land-locked sea that hides many treasures. In Baku, Azerbaijan, the oil industry is the ball and chain of the city’s environment. Traveling in the Caucasus is quite dangerous, especially by train. There is hostage taking by bandits, while the police and military look for draft dodgers and fresh recruits. The fishing industry in Baku has decreased due to the search and production of oil in the Caspian. Young lovers on the shore of the Caspian. Due to western influences, Azeri young people are more open with their feelings in public. Caspian sea duck hunter. The code in the Caucasaus, especially the mountain regions, is hospitality is. The people help each other for everything, including gas, food, lodging, places to sleep, and even protection. Your enemy become their enemy. Everytime a stranger arrives at someone’s home, the host will sit you down and the women bring you hot bowls of steamy mutton soup, laced with fresh herbs, and fresh baked bread, salads