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Neft Daslari, the Soviet-Era “Floating City” Built On Top of Oil Platforms





Neft Daslari, located far out the western Caspian Sea, holds the Guinness Record as the world’s first and oldest offshore oil platform in the world. Also known as ‘Oil Rocks’, it can be found a hundred kilometers away from Baku, Azerbaijani.

Here lies an inhabited structure and fully functional city with attractions like a cinema, soccer field, lemonade factory, and community park. It is home to some 3,000 citizens who rely mostly on oil as their source of living.

Nefy Daslari, also known as “Oil Rocks,” can be found far out the Western Caspian Sea.


During its peak, Neft Daslari had hosted an estimated 5,000 workers. However, as the years went by, the once glorious and closely-guarded secret during the Soviet times slowly showed decline in both structure and economic standing.

It boasts an eight-story apartment building for its workers.

It looks like an average city, but it is actually built in a series of platforms.

The floating city is home to some 3,000 citizens.


According to old Arabic and Persian manuscripts, evidences of Azerbaijan’s oil and natural gas seepage existed as early as the 3rd and 4th centuries. Even the famed explorer Marco Polo, wrote the actual petroleum trade on his books. After Russia conquered the territory in 1870, modern drilling began. At the beginning of World War I, Azerbaijan was already supplying 175 million barrels of crude oil annually. In 1949, Soviet engineers discovered top quality oil 1,100 meters beneath the Caspian’s floor. Afterwards, the world’s first offshore oil platform Neft Daslari came to being.

It became a major supplier of oil for the Soviet Union during the World War.


Built in a foundation of seven sunken ships including Zoraster, the world’s first oil tanker, the platform spread to 300 kilometers over the years. Joined by a network of bridge viaducts, workers built an eight-story apartment blocks, soccer pitch, library, bakery, bath house, and even a vegetable garden.

The platform expanded up to 300 kilometers over the years.

It holds the Guinness Record for first and oldest platform city.

Imagine living in a city where waves are constantly below your feet.

As the Soviet Union collapsed, Neft Daslari also showed decline. Neglect and lack of maintenance became the reason for the collapse of many oil rigs into the sea. The workforce was reduced from an estimated 5,000 to 2,500. Furthermore, new oilfields were discovered and the price of oil began to fluctuate. Presently, the plant is still in operations, but not that efficient anymore due to the diminished state of the area.

Over the years, the platform showed great decline due to neglect and lack of maintenance.

Some parts have totally collapsed.

Even though the city should be abandoned due to threats of further deterioration, the government refuses to take it apart. Aside from the high cost of dismantling the city, they still consider Nerf Daslari as the “proud, closely-guarded secret” it was in the Soviet Times. Such a secret, that even Google Earth, censored the area from its maps.

It is one of the places that is censored on Google Earth

It remains up to this day a closely-guarded secret of Azerbaijan

Up to this day, Neft Daslari remains as one of the leading suppliers of oil in its country.

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