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Little known Soviet-era city will eventually collapse into the sea
Featured Image Credit: Reza/Getty Images

Little known Soviet-era city will eventually collapse into the sea

Around 2,000 people live there

A little known Soviet-era city doesn't look to have a promising future.

Built in 1949 when Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union, Oil Rocks (also known was Neft Daşları) was the first ever offshore oil platform, even featuring in the Guinness World Book of Records.

It's located in the Caspian Sea, around 40km off Azerbaijan's coast.

Oil Rocks (AKA Neft Dashlari) was built in 1949.
Reza/Getty Images

In the years running up to its erection, it was discovered that there was a large oil bearing buried beneath the water - sparking Oil Rocks to be built so that oil extraction work could begin.

Joseph Stalin commissioned the project before going on to develop Russia’s Siberian oil operations.

The whole 'city' is thought to be around 17 miles, with one of its rigs being built on sunken ships.

At the peak of Oil Rocks' success, there were reportedly a staggering 2,000 drilling platforms.

To make the rig habitable, 300km of roads were built and, by the end of the 1950s, Oil Rocks had most amenities a person would need to live there; including two power plants, a boiler house and a medical center.

As many as 5,000 people lived there at one point.
Reza/Getty Images

Fast forward to the 70s and there was a nine-story apartment building and its very own park, as well as other more modern developments.

To this day, around 2,000 people still live and work in the city.

While a groundbreaking piece of architecture, the future of Oil Rocks is bleak.

Of the 300km of roads once built, now only 45km remain usable. Also, a flood dating back over a decade left some apartment blocks submerged up to the second storey.

As of 2012, workers on Oil Rocks were still earning $130 a month. While this doesn't sound a lot, it was still 'twice as much as someone employed in the same job on the mainland', German news website Der Spiegel reported at the time.

Continuing to detail the state of 'disrepair' the city has fallen into, the publication said: "Submerged steel constructions pose a threat to shipping, oil leaks abound and equipment is falling apart."

Sadly parts of Oil Rocks have fallen into a state of disrepair.
Reza/Getty Images

But why hasn't the city been dismantled if it's causing issues? Because it would cost more than simply letting nature take its course.

"Dismantling Neft Dashlari properly would probably be more expensive than simply keeping it going with a scaled-down oil production," Der Spiegel explained.

"To the government, the place is still the proud, closely-guarded secret it was in Soviet times. It is still very hard for foreigners to gain access to the city, which isn't even shown on Google Maps."

Oil deposits beneath Oil Rocks are only expected to last another 10 years, meaning the city will eventually become redundant.

It's possible that by the rig's 100th anniversary, it'll simply be another one of the globe's lost cities.

Topics: News, World News