R. Guliyev was born in Baku in 1945 in the well-known oil workers family. In 1967, he graduated from the Oil and Gas Department of the Azerbaijan Oil and Chemistry Institute (now Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University).
R. Guliyev was a PhD in technical sciences in 1971, got doctors’ degree in technical sciences in 1982, a professor of science in 1985, and a corresponding member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) in 2001.
He began his career at the age of 16 as a preparation officer of the Department of Control Measuring Instruments of the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy. In 1965-1969, he worked at the Leninoil Oil Fields Administration, operator at the Azerbaijan Naval Intelligence Department and worked as a laboratory assistant, driller assistant, and large field engineer at the Drilling Depot of the Azerbaijan Naval Intelligence Service. In 1969-1983 he was the chief engineer, the senior scientific worker and the head of hydromechanical department at the Azerbaijan Research Institute. In 1983 he was the Head of the Department of Economics, Organization and Management of the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industrial University. From 1988 to 2005 he headed the Drilling Department of Oil and Gas. Since 2006, he has worked as a senior specialist at the International Projects and External Relations Department at the Oil & Gas Research Institute.
R. Guliyev's scientific research area is directed on the management of hydrodynamic indicators of the drilling fluid and operational control methods; Optimization of hydraulic drilling program based on reference to the theory of organizational management; optimization of curvature management during deep drilling well drilling.
R. Guliyev has been a member of the US Engineers Society since 1997. He was the chairman of the Scientific Council on Oil and Gas Problems of the Department of Earth Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan and also the section "Drilling of oil and gas wells".
R. Guliyev is the author of more than 260 scientific works, including 3 monographs, 20 educational and methodical aids and 11 inventions. Under his leadership, 14 PhDs were prepared.
R. Guliyev was awarded with the title "For Labor Valour" in 1981 and "Progress" in 2001.
Corresponding member of ANAS Rafig Guliyev died in Baku in 2008.