Russian Oligarchs

Vagit Alekperov: Bold Biography of Lukoil President

Early Life and Family

Vagit Alekperov was born on September 1, 1950, in Stepan Razin, a village near Baku in the Azerbaijan SSR. Raised in a challenging environment after his father died in 1953, Vagit was the youngest of five children, cared for by his mother, Tatyana Fedorovna Bocharova.

Education and Early Career

In 1974, Alekperov graduated from the Azerbaijan Institute of Oil and Chemistry, specializing in mining engineering for technology and integrated mechanization of oil and gas field development. He began his career as a laboratory assistant at the Azerbaijan Scientific Research Institute for Oil Production before working in various capacities in the oil and gas industry in Western Siberia.

Rise in the Oil Industry

Vagit Alekperov held positions in different oil and gas production departments, including at Surgutneftegaz, and rose to prominence as the General Director of Kogalymneftegaz in 1987. During 1990-1992, he served as Deputy and First Deputy Minister of the Oil and Gas Industry of the USSR. In 1992, he orchestrated the merger of Langepasneftegaz, Uraineftegaz, and Kogalymneftegaz, forming the LangepasUrayKogalymneft oil concern, which was later transformed into Lukoil.

Surgutneftegaz details

Details of Surgutneftegaz
Details of Surgutneftegaz

Surgutneftegas, also known as Surgutneftgaz, produces, explores, processes, generates power, and markets petroleum products, petrochemicals, and gas products as a Russian integrated energy company. It is one of the largest private vertically integrated oil companies in Russia, with its headquarters located in Surgut, Russia.

The company owns and operates the Kirishinefteorgsintez refinery in Russia, which produces a variety of petroleum products such as motor fuels, aromatics, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and bitumens. Surgutneftegas is also involved in fuel retail activities in northwest Russia and is a shareholder of Oneximbank.

Since its inception in 1993, president and director general Vladimir Bogdanov has been leading the company as a joint stock company. Forbes Global 2000 ranked Surgutneftgas as the 251st largest public company in the world in 2020. The company’s revenue was $20.1 billion in 2017 and $3.89 billion in 2016.

Creation of Lukoil

Under Vagit Alekperov‘s leadership, Lukoil emerged in 1993, becoming one of the largest private oil companies in Russia. He played a pivotal role in the privatization of state oil enterprises, turning Lukoil into a vertically integrated company.

Lukoil: Details and background

Oil Company Lukoil
Oil Company Lukoil

Lukoil, a formidable player in the global oil and gas industry, is more than just a corporate entity—it’s a dynamic force shaped by the efforts of over 100,000 dedicated individuals. Headquartered in Moscow, Russia, this publicly traded company is a symbol of international prowess, extending its influence across more than 100 countries.

At the heart of Lukoil’s success is its commitment to sustainable development and the well-being of its extensive workforce. With a diverse portfolio spanning Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, the Middle East, South America, Northern and Western Africa, and Southeast Asia, Lukoil’s impact is truly global.

The company’s journey is not just about oil exploration, production, refining, and marketing—it’s about the people who drive these operations. Their workforce is a mosaic of talent and expertise, reflecting the company’s dedication to creating a workplace where innovation flourishes, safety is paramount, and environmental standards are rigorously upheld.

Lukoil‘s role in contributing approximately 2% to the world’s total oil output is not just a statistical figure; it’s a testament to the collective efforts of individuals who strive for excellence. The company’s influence goes beyond its balance sheet, encompassing a commitment to robust corporate governance practices that ensure transparency and ethical conduct.

As it continues to shape the global oil production landscape, it does so with a human touch—acknowledging the importance of each employee, each community it operates in, and each step taken towards a sustainable future. The story of Lukoil is one not just of barrels and reserves but of people and progress, making it a true giant with a human face in the complex world of energy.

Business Ventures

Apart from Lukoil, Alekperov diversified his business interests. In 1995, he became the chairman of the board of directors of the Imperial Bank. He also entered the banking sector in the late 1990s as the chairman of the board of directors of Petrocommerce Bank.


Alekperov’s success in the oil industry led to international recognition. Forbes listed him as a billionaire from 1997 onwards. In 2020, his estimated net worth reached $15.2 billion, making him a significant player in the global business arena.

Vagit Alekperov’s Net Worth

Worth and Accumulations
Worth and Accumulations

As of February 24, 2022, Alekperov held a 28.3% ownership stake in Lukoil. In 2022, he received $2.2 billion in dividends from Lukoil.

Vagit Alekperov, as of December 8, 2023, boasts a staggering net worth of $23.7 billion, positioning him among the globe’s most affluent individuals, according to Forbes. The bulk of his wealth emanates from his substantial 28.3% stake in Lukoil, a publicly traded oil and gas giant renowned for its impressive revenue figures and a workforce exceeding 100,000 employees.

Alekperov’s financial standing has displayed remarkable consistency, illustrated by his net worth of $19.6 billion in April 2021. His enduring prosperity underscores the enduring success of Lukoil, affirming his status as a prominent figure in the realm of global wealth.

YearNet Worth (in billions)
201413.6 Billion
201512.2 Billion
20168.9 Billion
201714.5 Billion
201816.4 Billion
201920.7 Billion
202015.2 Billion
202124.9 Billion
202210.5 Billion
202320.5 Billion

Philanthropy and Social Impact

Alekperov actively engaged in philanthropy through the Foundation for Regional Social Programs “Our Future.” He donated to various causes, including the treatment of seriously ill children and support for social entrepreneurship. Lukoil also contributed significantly to environmental protection.

Personal Life

Glimpse from the Personal Life of Vagit Alekperov
Glimpse from the Personal Life of Alekperov

Vagit Alekperov married Larisa, and they have a son named Yusuf, born in 1990. Yusuf followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued a career in the oil and gas industry.

Hobbies and Interests

Kids of Vagit Alekperov
Kids of Alekperov

Alekperov had diverse interests, including tennis and travel. Notably, he developed a passion for collecting old coins, leading to the establishment of the Numismatics Museum.

Recent Developments and Legacy

Alekperov resigned from his position at Lukoil in April 2022 after facing sanctions from the UK. Despite the challenges, he leaves behind a legacy as a key figure in the Russian oil industry and a prominent philanthropist.

Post-Lukoil Ventures

Following his departure from Lukoil, Alekperov devoted more time to his hobbies, including numismatics, winemaking in Crimea, and owning the Dutch shipyard Heesen Yachts.

Inheritance and Future Plans

In 2013, Alekperov bequeathed his Lukoil stake to his son, Yusuf, with restrictions on selling or dividing it. The inheritance includes conditions on income limitations and a waiting period.

Challenges and Sanctions

Alekperov faced challenges, including sanctions in 2022, leading to the freezing of his assets in the UK and Australia. Despite this, his impact on the oil industry remains significant.


In April 2022, Vagit Alekperov, the CEO of Lukoil, resigned amid UK sanctions freezing his assets due to alleged involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Although the official reason for his departure wasn’t stated, reports suggested it was linked to safeguarding personal interests. The organization now faces challenges, including potential US and European boycotts of Russian oil.

The company’s shares dropped by around 28% on the Moscow stock exchange since the conflict’s onset, with a further 2% decline on Alekperov’s resignation day. The situation introduces uncertainties over Lukoil‘s leadership and international market standing, highlighting the broader impact of geopolitical events on the global energy industry.


Vagit Alekperov, born in 1950 in Azerbaijan, rose from humble beginnings to become a key figure in the Russian oil industry. Graduating in mining engineering, he began as a laboratory assistant before climbing the ranks in Western Siberia’s oil and gas sector. In 1992, he orchestrated a merger forming Lukoil, a global oil giant. Alekperov diversified into banking, chairing Imperial Bank and Petrocommerce Bank.

Forbes listed him as a billionaire from 1997, with a 2020 net worth of $15.2 billion. As of December 2023, his net worth is $23.7 billion, largely from his 28.3% Lukoil stake. Alekperov, married with a son, engaged in philanthropy through the “Our Future” foundation and Lukoil. Despite resigning in 2022 amid UK sanctions alleging involvement in the Ukraine conflict, Alekperov remains a notable figure in the oil industry, leaving a legacy of success, philanthropy, and challenges.

He now focuses on personal interests, including numismatics and winemaking, with his son inheriting the oil company stake under certain conditions. The situation raises uncertainties about Lukoil’s future leadership and global standing amid geopolitical tensions.

Alexander Harris

Alexander Harris - The Digital Bloodhound Alexander isn't your typical investigative journalist. He thrives in the digital world, scouring the web for hidden connections and leaked documents. An expert data analyst and coder, he builds intricate digital trails to expose fraud, cybercrime, and government overreach. Alexander Harris began his career as a journalist. He is one of the founders of the " Russian Oligarchs Tracker Unit ".

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