Wednesday, 10 August, 2016

Britain’s Amec ready for return to Iran

Britain’s largest oil and gas engineering company, Amec Foster Wheeler, is gearing up for a return to Iran as the race to win contracts in the Islamic republic heats up ahead of the possible lifting of sanctions.

Its chief executive, Samir Brikho, told the British paper The Telegraph that he has already discussed the company’s involvement in the Iranian market with the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, who reopened the British Embassy in Tehran last week.

“Iran is certainly one of the country’s we’re looking at but we can’t do anything while sanctions are still in place,” Mr Brikho said.

The Iranian government reached a deal with world powers in July to lift economic sanctions in return for the curtailment of its nuclear programme. However, the agreement must be ratified by the US Congress before companies such as Amec Foster Wheeler can re-establish a presence on the country.


Iran, which has the world’s second-largest gas reserves and fourth largest in terms of oil, is a potential energy powerhouse, but it requires billions of dollars of investment in new infrastructure in order to boost production.

Mr Brikho said that Amec Foster Wheeler’s top management executive for the Middle East region had participated in the delegation led by Mr Hammond which met Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Amec Foster Wheeler plc is a British multinational consultancy, engineering and project management company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is focused on the oil and gas, minerals and metals, clean energy, environment and infrastructure markets and has offices in over 50 countries worldwide.

British companies had been in danger of losing out in the race to secure a foothold in Iran. Since the nuclear deal was signed in Vienna, European competitors such as Germany, France and Italy had jumped ahead of Britain in organizing trade missions to the country.

Oil and gas services and engineering companies are under pressure from a slump in the oil price, which has forced operators to cut back on new projects and capital expenditure. Brent crude has fallen around 56pc over the past year.

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