Sunday, July 29, 2012

Neft Daşları Oil Rocks

There’s a city in the middle of the Caspian Sea, 25 miles from the coast.

It's history goes back to the beginning of the Cold War. Just as World War II ended, Russia was recovering from the Nazi invasion and was seeking a source for oil. Back then, Russia’s oil reserves weren’t discovered to the extent that they are today. Most of their oil came from Southern Russia and the Caspian Sea region (instead of northern Siberian regions, like today). 

With growing interest in the oil at the bottom of Caspian Sea, as oil reserves began to run dry, someone decided it would be a good idea to construct a city 42 kilometers (25 miles) off the coast to retrieve more oil. The Soviet leaders approved the plan and it was well funded. In just a few months, an actual town was built floating on the water in the middle of nowhere. 

Called Neft Daşları, or “Oil Rocks,” it was originally built on giant steel blocks coming all the way from the sea bottom, hundreds of feet down. The city still exists today, built continuously on landfill. Its present population is about 5,000.

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