The Republic of Azerbaijan, which gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, is a politically stable democracy. The country has an established democratic government, which is fully supportive of international investment initiatives.
The mining code is fledgling and runs under the guidance of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. The country has an established oil industry, with more than 15 major oil and gas companies with PSAs with the Azeri Government including BP, which has been operating in the country since 1994, and Exxon Mobile.
Infrastructure is reasonably extensive. Low cost labour is also available.
Azerbaijan is situated in south-west Asia between Iran and Russia and bordering the Caspian Sea to the east. A small part of Azerbaijan north of the Caucasus range is in Europe. It also has borders with Armenia, Georgia and Turkey. It is split into two by Armenia and the smaller part is called the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan. Azerbaijan covers an area of over 86,000 square kilometres ranging from the flat Kura-Araz lowlands in the south to the Great Caucasus mountains to the north with the Karabakh upland in the west. The climate is semi-arid with cold winters and hot summers. The population is slightly less than 10 million.