Farman Salmanov

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Farman Qurban ogly Salmanov
Born (1931-07-28)28 July 1931
Morul, Shamkhor district, Azerbaijan SSR, USSR
Died 31 March 2007(2007-03-31) (aged 75)
Moscow, Russian Federation
Occupation geologist

Farman Gurban oglu Salmanov (Azerbaijani: Fərman Salmanov; Russian: Фарман Салманов; July 28, 1931, Morul – March 31, 2007, Moscow) was an Azerbaijani geologist famous for discovering great oil fields in Western Siberia in Tyumen Oblast in 1961.

Farman Salmanov was born in the village of Morul of Shamkhor district of Azerbaijan SSR in a family of farmers. After graduating from school with honors, he entered the Azerbaijan Industrial Institute and upon graduation was sent to explore oil in Kuzbass. He soon realized that there was no oil in Kuzbass, and decided to move with volunteers from his exploration team to Surgut in Siberia without the consent of the Soviet authorities. According to the doctrine prevailing at the time in the Soviet geological science Siberia was not considered an oil-bearing region. The authorities tried to initiate criminal prosecution of Salmanov, but had to give a post factum approval of his mission when his team threatened they would go on strike.

Salmanov struck oil on March 21, 1961 in the Megion field. He sent all his opponents similar telegrams: "Dear comrade, an oil fountain is gushing from the depth of 2,180 meters in Megion. Is it clear?" His opponents in the Soviet Ministry of Geology said that it was a natural anomaly and that the oil fountain would soon exhaust. When Salmanov struck the second oil reserve in Ust-Balyk, he sent a telegram to the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev: "I found oil. That's it." The Soviet leaders realized the importance of Salmanov's discoveries, and Siberian oil soon became the main driving force of Soviet economy and a primary source of hard currency for the Soviet budget.

Farman Salmanov dedicated fifty years of his life to the oil-and-gas industry of the Soviet Union and Russia, and discovered or participated in the discovery of over one hundred fields, including such huge oil and gas reserves as Mamontovskoye, Megionskoye, Pravdinskoye, Ust-Balykskoye, Surgutskoye, Urengoyskoye, Yamburgskoye, etc. He was awarded the title of the Hero of Socialist Labor in 1966 and the Lenin Prize in 1970. From 1978 to 1987 Salmanov headed the Glavtyumengeology after Y.G. Ervier, an organization in charge of oil and gas exploration in Tyumen Oblast. In 1987–1991 he was the first deputy to the Minister of Geology of the USSR. Until his death, Salmanov was an adviser to the president of Russian Itera Gas Company. Farman Salmanov was doctor of geological-mineralogical sciences, a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the author of over 160 monographs and scientific works. He was an honorary citizen of Khanty–Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, the city of Surgut, and the state of Texas. A number of feature and documentary films were dedicated to Salmanov's story.

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