President of the leading Russian Oil company “LUKOIL”, Azerbaijani businessman “Vagit Alekperov” is the eighth wealthiest person in Russia and the 50th richest person in the world. Born in 1950 in an Azerbaijani-Cossack family in “Baku”, one of the prominent centers of the global petroleum industry, young Vagit was destined to become an oilman. His father “Kerbalaevich Yusuf Alekperov” worked in the oil business, and his son followed in his footsteps. The youngest child in his family, Vagit was a good student at school but not a fun loving guy.
A graduate from the “Azerbaijan Oil and Chemistry Institute”, Vagit combined work with study, working as a drilling operator in a regional production company “Kaspmorneft”. Diligent Vagit continued working for Kaspmorneft after graduation and soon became a production engineer. In a short span of time he was promoted as a “shift supervisor”, then “chief engineer” and finally became the “deputy chief”. Vagit became the “youngest” energy minister in Soviet history, after being appointed as the deputy minister of the “Oil and Gas Industry” of the Soviet Union, in 1990. Later in 1993, he was appointed the President of the first vertically integrated state-owned energy Russian Oil company “Langepas-Uray-Kogalymneft” which later became eminent as “LUKOIL”.
Alekperov helped establish LUKOIL as a state company, and today with more than 100,000 employees, it is among the world's most dominant oil companies. In November 2000, LUKOIL became the first Russian company to acquire an American oil company, after acquiring “Getty Petroleum Marketing” and its 1,300 gas stations in the US. The oil tycoon has a net worth of $13.9 billion, with combined assets totaling $1.3 billion, making him the 50th richest person in the world and also holds interests in banking and media sectors.
Vagit’s life on the oil platforms witnessed appreciation as well as catastrophes, as while at work in an oil well in the Caspian Sea in 1974, he survived a fatal explosion on a drilling platform that took the life of two other workers. The wealthy business man is married and has a son “Yusuf” born in 1990.