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
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