Chamber leads the way to Iranian opportunities

ABERDEEN & Grampian Chamber of Commerce is leading a trade delegation to Iran to help North-east companies grasp the huge opportunities created by the lifting of sanctions against the Middle east oil giant.

The sanctions were first imposed by the US in 1979 and subsequently by the UN. However, it is now more than a year since the UN lifted its sanctions opening the door to major potential for the UK oil and gas industry's skills and expertise.

This latest mission follows the success of one led by the Chamber in August last year when 19 companies made the journey and several of those participants are expected to return to follow up on initial business contacts.

Iran has the fourth largest oil and the second largest gas reserved in the world and Liam Smyth, the Chamber's deputy chief executive, said that Quality Services Aberdeen, which was on last year's visit, has already established a company on Kish Island, Iran's free trade zone which can be accessed from Dubai without full visa requirements.

Visas for those joining the delegation will be arranged by the Chamber.

"Other companies have moved very fast in breaking into the market in Iran with German, Norwegian and French companies having struck deals.

"We have been a little bit behind the curve because the UK banking system was slow to become involved in transactions as a result of US sanctions still in place.

"However, these problems have now been overcome, British banks are doing deals and if companies follow advice which the Chamber provides and does the appropriate due diligence there shouldn't be any problems.

"Iranian companies are keen to trade with British companies because they trust them and their products. They also know that around areas like health and safety, asset integrity, construction, and deepwater exploration we have the expertise to help them to produce more oil gas much more quickly than worker with partners with less experience.

"There is huge opportunity for Scottish companies and no shortage of projects available which require their skills and expertise.

"With the technology available at the moment in Iran there is only the capability to extract about 25% of the reserves which is 10% less than the world average.

"The lifting of sanctions mean the world is much more open to them and provides the opportunity for companies here to find partners to work with and improve production efficiency."

  • The Chamber is leading a trade mission to Iran from June 29 to July 4. To find out more, click here or contact Joan Young for more information.