British Petroleum is a multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. According to revenues in 2011, they are the third largest energy company and fourth largest company in the world. Their main products include fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants for engines, retail services and petrochemical products for everyday use. BP started as a subsidiary of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1909 and through many stages it became British Petroleum in 1954. The British government began to privatize the company in 1979 and it has since become fully privatized and has merged with numerous energy partners. In 1992, BP opened is first office in Baku and two years later signed a contract with the Azerbaijan government. BP developed the region’s offshore oil and gas fields and onshore pipelines, making Azerbaijan a gateway to the Caspian region. In Azerbaijan, BP operates the two largest oil and gas production projects in the Caspian Sea, which supplies 80% of the country’s oil production, as well as major export pipelines. Azerbaijan
The Republic of Azerbaijan is bound by the Caspian Sea, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Iran. It has a dry, subtropical with hot summers and mild winters. There are forests, meadows, and alpine tundra in the mountains. Azerbaijan occupies the world’s most important strategic crossroad between East and West. It is at the center of the historic Silk Road. It has been under the rule of Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, the Seljuks, the Mongols, the Persians, the Russians, the Ottomans, and the Soviets throughout its lifetime. Socio-Cultural Environment
The major ethnic groups are: Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5% other 3.9% Religion: Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% The official language is Azerbaijani (Azeri), other languages spoken are Lezgi, Russian, Armenian Greetings
Men greet each other by shaking hands and maintaining direct eye contact. Many give each other a kiss on the cheek accompanied by a light hug/grasp. For a first encounter always offer a handshake. Hugs are common between good friends and family. Women usually kiss each other on the cheek if they know each other. If women are meeting for the first time a light handshake is appropriate. A simple nod of acknowledgement is also acceptable. When a man and a woman meet, allow the woman to offer her hand before trying to shake it. Men and women are otherwise not supposed to touch unless they are married or a family member. When family member and friends meet, they speak closely and put a hand on the arm or back of the other person. An arm’s length of space is the preferred space between acquaintances, colleagues and casual friends. It is common o members of the same sex link arms, because it is seem as a sign of friendship. Communication Style
Azeris tend to be very direct and commanding in their communication. Direct communication is always preferred, except in instances where you are expressing a personal opinion. View of Time
Time is not strictly kept and schedules are not followed. People will be late, but they expect foreigners to be on time and wait for them. They give their time freely and concentrate on building a relationship rather than completing a task. Socializing and personal relationships tend to take precedence over meeting deadlines and following set agendas. Public transportation usually does not stick to a strict schedule, unless they are in the large cities such as Baku. Vans leave when they are full and trains tend to arrive late to a destination. Gender Issues
Women may work outside the home, but generally only as teachers or nurses. They will not go to restaurants or tea houses by themselves and can only consume small amounts of wine at home on special occasions. However, it is customary for men to drink in a public scene. Most married women are expected to stay home and take care...