Pirallahi Island off the Apsheron Peninsula
Pirallahi Island or Pirallakhi Island (Azeri: Pirallahı adası) is an island in the Caspian Sea. The island is part of Azerbaijan, and is located right off the northeastern shore of the Apsheron Peninsula, 43 kilometres (27 mi) to the ENE of Baku.
The island is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) long and has a maximum width of 4 kilometres (2.5 mi). Administratively, Pirallahi Island belongs to the Pirallahi district of Baku.
In ancient times Zoroastrians worshipped a fire at the low-lying island. During Russian Imperial times the island's name was Svyatoy (from Russian: Святой - "The holy one"). It is said that undersea booty from a 1660 sea battle between Persians and Cossack leader Stepan Razin lies off the northern tip of the island..
Pirallahi Island is said to be the among the first places that oil was extracted in Azerbaijan and in the 1820s it was divided into two separate areas, one residential, and another where oil was refined into paraffin. In 1934, oil explorers dropped metal drills off piers from the island, which at the time was considered an advancement in offshore oil exploration .
While Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union, the island was renamed as Artyom Island (Russian: Artëm) after the pioneer revolutionary Comrade Artyom (Fyodor Sergeyev). Pirallahi Island still has a settlement called Artyom. The old Artyom village was evacuated due to rising water levels of the Caspian Sea and residents moved to a series of apartment towers built by German prisoners in 1948.
- History of the oil industry
- Artyom town
- Caspian Sea Biodiversity Project
- Oil detritus
- Environmental problems