Meet the Chairs

Khoshbakht Yusifzadeh

Conference Chair
Khoshbakht Yusifzadeh     
First Vice President, SOCAR

Khoshbakht Yusifzadeh is a member of the Azerbaijan National Academy and the International Academy of Sciences of Turkish World Research, foreign fellow of the Georgia National Academy of Sciences, honorary member of the Russian International Engineers Academy, and doctor of geological-mineralogical sciences. He was born 14 January 1930 in Baku. In 1952 he graduated from the Azerbaijan Industrial Institute (now Azerbaijan State Oil Academy) with a specialization in geology and exploration of oil and gas fields. He started as senior geologist in the city of Oil Rocks. Starting in 1970 he worked as deputy director general and chief geologist for the Caspian Oil and Gas Production Association. In 1994, he became a vice president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), and since 2004 he has been the first vice president of SOCAR.

He defended his nomination in 1960 and his doctoral dissertation in Moscow in 1987. In 2007 he was elected full member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of more than 193 scientific publications, including 18 monographs. He also holds the patents for eight inventions. He has been awarded the higher honours of independent Azerbaijan, including those for independence, glory, and honour. He also holds the Red Labour Flag and Badge of Honour, both awarded by the former USSR. His medals and honorary degrees include the Red Star Medal of the International Academy of Sciences of Turkic World Research. He has received the State Award of the Republic of Azerbaijan twice and was named Honoured Scientist of the Turkish World. His honorary titles include Engineer of Azerbaijan USR; Engineer of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Oil Worker of the USSR; and Surveyor of the Earth’s Crust.

He received a special medal from UNESCO for his outstanding services in the development and application of nanotechnologies in oil production as well as mention in their encyclopaedia.

Martyn Smith

Conference Chair
Martyn Smith
VP Reservoir Development, BP


Martyn Smith is currently vice president for reservoir development in the Azerbaijan/Georgia/Turkey region, responsible for all reservoir management and development planning activity on behalf of BP and its partners. He returned to Baku in mid-2012 having previously worked there in a business development capacity across the Caspian region during 1994–1998. Prior to his current role, Smith held several positions in Egypt for BP over a six-year period. These included VP reservoir development and manager of their OBO (Operated by Others) JV businesses. In 2003–2006 he was based in Moscow as head of reservoir development for the TNK-BP joint venture company.

During Smith’s tenure with BP since 1985, he has held reservoir development and exploration positions in the UK, Alaska, Houston, and the Middle East, as well as a functional role in BP’s corporate centre. He graduated in geophysics from the University of Cardiff and holds an MBA from the Henley Management College.