Extended Leadership Team


Emin Gurbanbayov Security Director


Emin was appointed as the Security Director reporting to the CEO in December 2021.

Emin has over 20 years of experience in the security sector and is a retired Colonel. During his service Emin was awarded many medals including “For the Homeland” and other national awards of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He has extensive experience in risk analysis, drawing security policies, planning, and organizing implementation of various procedures of security management. 

Emin holds bachelor’s degrees both in Oriental Studies and Law from Baku State University and Master’s degree in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School of the United States. He has also completed a variety of programs and trainings in international security and countering terrorism.


Aybaniz Ismayilova Government and Public Affairs Director


Aybaniz Ismayilova was appointed as the Government and Public Affairs Director reporting to the CEO in April 2022. Aybaniz is a member of the GL Leadership Team and plays a vital role in contributing to the success of our company.

Aybaniz has 23 years of broad experience in the public sector, having held several senior international affairs, communication, and management roles. Her expertise includes strategic communications, public affairs, government relations, and media relations, as well as issue management. She is a keynote speaker and an author of more than 50 publications and a children’s book.

Prior to joining GL, Aybaniz led the overall fundraising and communications efforts of the Karabakh Revival Fund, representing organization at the public events including statewide and local business organizations, as well as local, regional, and national associations.

While leading international affairs at the Karabakh Community, Aybaniz has implemented comprehensive government affairs strategies including lobbying, association engagement, community impact, integrated reputation communications, storytelling, and content creation. Throughout her multi-sectoral career, working with multinational and international organizations as the UN agencies, ADB, USAID and others, she has developed close working relationships with key internal business stakeholders and partnered with executive leadership to leverage governmental advocacy strategies. While working on Parliamentary development project she gained advanced knowledge of legislative rules and procedures, legislative processes, politics, and the complex corporate and policy issues.

Aybaniz holds BA Degree from Khazar University, MSc Degree from the University of Manchester, UK and enrolled at executive programs at the INSEAD.

Outside of work, Aybaniz enjoys spending time with her family, writing, and running marathons. Aybaniz is a member of the board of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders which brings cutting-edge educational programs, and high-risk screening to keep children safe and healthy.


Ramil Asgarov Asset General Manager


Ramil was appointed as the General Manager of Salyan Oil Limited reporting to Vice President of Operations in January 2022. He has extensive experience with over 23 years in the oil and gas industry.  Throughout the years, Ramil has held the following positions:

  • Operations Production Supervisor for Oily Rocks, SOCAR for 6 years. He was responsible for managing site production team, delivering production commitments, and conducting safe and efficient operations.

  • Technical and Leadership Positions, such as Operations Production Supervisor, Operations Team Leader and Offshore Installation Manager on one of Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli platforms and Operations Discipline Manager for BP during the last 18 years 

  • Ramil has also led the implementation of new ways of Working and New organization structure at BP in 2018.

Ramil has been awarded the “Honorary Oil Worker” badge by SOCAR president in 2019 in recognition of hard work to support Azerbaijan oil industry growth.

Ramil holds a BSc degree and Engineering Diploma in Reservoir Engineering from Azerbaijan State Oil Academy.


Mehdi Valiyev Drilling and Wells Director


Mehdi Valiyev was appointed to the position of Drilling and Wells Director reporting to Vice President of Operations in January 2022. Mehdi brings 15 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, working primarily in the exploration and development of hydrocarbon reserves. Throughout his career Mehdi led and was part of multidisciplinary drilling and wells teams for big and mid-size energy companies such as BP, SOCAR, Talisman Energy, Gas de France and consultancy group such as LR Senergy. His experience includes exploration and development projects across Caspian Sea, West Africa, North Sea and Continental Europe basins. Prior to joining SOCAR Mehdi managed regional technical team of Weatherford supporting multiple customers in the North Sea, Continental Europe, and West Caspian projects. 

Mehdi has a vast experience in the upstream segment from mergers and acquisitions to establishing and developing internal operational integrity management program. His knowledge and expertise cover managing complex drilling and workover operations, both offshore and onshore, developing logistics and supply chain plans for wildcat projects, technically supporting greenfield developments and brownfield redevelopment campaigns. He is an acting risk assessor and well examiner for a globally recognized upstream well warranty provider.

Mehdi holds MEng with Honors from National Aviation Academy, MSc degree in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt University and MBA degree from Warwick University. He also holds PhD degree in Physics from the Institute of Physics of Azerbaijan.


Kenan Aliyev Subsurface Director


Kenan was appointed as the Subsurface Manager reporting to Vice President of Operations in September 2021. He has 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and was part of multidisciplinary subsurface teams for energy companies and consultancy groups such as BP, Eni, DeGolyer & MacNaughton and Baker RDS. Kenan’s knowledge and expertise covers hydrocarbon basins around the world: Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, North Africa, South Caspian Basin, Western Siberia and Dnipro-Donetsk. Kenan holds B. Sc and M. Sc Degree in Geology from Baku State University and M. Sc degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University.

He is a Certified Petroleum Geologist by American Association of Petroleum Geologists and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.


Suleyman Babayev Procurement and Supply Chain Manager


Suleyman was appointed as Procurement and Supply Chain Manager reporting to the CEO in November 2021. He has solid background and diverse experience across the key oil and gas as well as non-oil and gas domains. His previous experience was with SOCAR Downstream Management LLC (SDM) where he worked for the last 3 years in the role of Contracts Manager. Prior to SDM Suleyman held various roles in Gilan Industrial Group (Business Development Director), BOS Shelf (Deputy Business Unit Manager), McDermott Caspian Contractors Inc (Contracts Manager), Turner and Townsend (Project Control Consultant) etc.

Suleyman graduated from Khazar University with major in International Relations and minor in Legal Studies.