OIL: Neft daşları/Нефтяные Камни/Oil Stones

Neft daşları.  A town of 5 000 oil workers, 100km from Baku, Azerbaijan and 55km from shore in the Caspian Sea.  It is a spread out little company town where what one would normally think of as fields, is water.  There are sports fields, hostels, bits of lawn and gardens, a bakery, a clinic, a cinema.  Miles of trestle bridges connect an array of rigs, docks, wells and pipelines. A gas turbine electricity station makes the oil field operations completely automonous.

Built in 1949, this was the first offshore oil platform in the world; by 1958 the town was built and continued industrial and residential construction up until 1978.  There is a core population of 900, and a rotating population of several thousand shift workers, but no families or children. Water and food are brought in.  Pipelines have gradually replaced tanker transport as weather on the sea is violent and unpredictable.

Neft daşları is sinking, or the sea is rising.  There are other platforms in Azerbijan that have superseded Neft daşları, some of the 200km of trestle roadways have collapsed, some rigs are inaccessible.

Here is a good explanation of the project, and below, an overview: