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  • Vagit Alekperov, 52, was born in 1950 in Baku, Azerbaijan, one of the earliest centers of the international petroleum industry. His father worked in the oil fields all his life and inspired Alekperov to follow in his footsteps. He was 18 when he landed his first job in the industry. Alekperov attended Azerbaijan Institute of Oil and Chemistry, then trained as an engineer to work in the nearby Caspian Sea oil fields. In 1979, he was sent to western Siberia, where he would later become general director of local oil and gas producer Kogalymneftgaz, a position he held until 1990. By 1991, Alekperov had established himself as an industry expert, winning an appointment as first deputy minister of fuel and energy, then as acting minister. He used his newly attained power to lobby for the consolidation of Russia's three oil producers into one company -- then assumed presidency of the new company. His nicknames, the General, Alek the First and the Don, are indicative of his indisputable authority at LUKoil, whose name came from the first letters of the three companies that consolidated-- Langepas, Urai and Kogalym. Today LUKoil is among the world's most powerful oil companies, with reserves second only to Exxon. Like many other oligarchs, Alekperov has moved into banking and media.
  • Vagit Alekperov is an Azerbaijani and Russian businessman and currently a President of the leading Russian oil company LUKOIL. He is currently rated by Forbes magazine as the fifth richest person in Russia with a net worth of $14.8 billion and the 55th richest person in the world.

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