Panel Sessions

In these sessions, high-profile speakers and panellists drawn from government, operators, service providers, advisory firms, and energy research companies from varying backgrounds and experiences will present and debate their viewpoints in the following sessions. Some speakers are yet to be confirmed.

1100–1230 Wednesday, 4 November

Panel Session 1: Gas Development

Co-chairs: Elshad Nasirov and Vitaliy Baylarbayov, SOCAR

The Caspian area has a key role to play in the gas supply value chain to Turkey and Europe. Given the stable geopolitical environment and an established healthy relation between the stakeholders, Caspian gas development attracts international attention in search of a stable stream of gas resources and security of gas supply. This panel session proposes an overview of the parameters impacting the value chain.


  • Vitaliy Baylarbayov, SOCAR 
  • Michael McKay, Halliburton
  • Joe Murphy, BP
  • Gulmira Rzayeva, Centre for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
  • Fuad  Ahmadov, SOCAR

0930–1115 Thursday, 5 November

Panel Session 2: Managing Risks and Performance—Mega Projects

Co-Chairs: Vagif Aliyev, SOCAR Investments, General Manager and George Bridges, Global Contract and Materials Manager, ExxonMobil Development Company

The cost and complexity of developing oil and gas mega projects has risen dramatically over the last decade, driven by increases in the associated technical, execution, and performance risks. There is a widely held perception that every risk associated with a mega project can be defined and mitigated during the early days of development. However, the key to effective and sustainable risk mitigation is to focus on the truly critical items: developing effective governance systems, addressing human dynamics that promote success across the venture, and designing a project team that will think critically about rapidly identifying and mitigating risk throughout the life of a project. This session will cover issues and opportunities to identify and address projects risks and performance in large-scale ventures. Participants and speakers will use real-world examples in a dialogue on the sources of risk and appropriate mitigation strategies. They will also examine opportunities to improve the collective delivery of these increasingly large and complex projects to meet the challenge of providing energy to the world. 


  • Ewan Drummond, Vice President Projects, Shah Deniz 2, BP
  • Saltuk Düzyol, General Manager, TANAP
  • Ikhtiyar Akhundov, General Manager, BOS Shelf
  • Nekkhil Mishra, Deputy Director, Oil and Gas Practice, IPA

0930–1100 Friday, 6 November

Panel Session 3: Industry Insights and Experience in Developing National Capability

Co-Chairs: Martyn Smith, VP, Reservoir Development, BP and Teymur Mahmudov, Deputy GM of Investment, SOCAR

The exploration and production of hydrocarbons today is very much a collaboration between national companies, government agencies, and the international oil and gas industry. This panel of local and international organisations will explore the participants’ experience and learnings in the development of national capability regarding human capital as well as technological expertise.

The panel will explore the practicalities of producing a roadmap that encompasses the training and ongoing investment required to develop and maintain the human capital to deliver a world-class homegrown R&D environment in a constantly changing global market. This esteemed group will also look at the use of future technology to enhance oil and gas E&P—getting to grips with the opportunities and jointly tackling the challenges, very much a mutual journey for future development to meet the growing demands of the Caspian basin.


  • Hakon Skretting, INTSOK
  • Gokhan Saygi, President Russia and Central Asia, Schlumberger
  • Khalik Mammadov, VP HR, IT and Regulations, SOCAR
  • John Denis, General Director SRI KMG
  • Sudaba Khalilova, HR Manager, Total