Rolls-Royce


British Businesses Training and Educating in Iraq

By Ashley Goodall.

Is the UK overlooking a key USP for British International businesses?

Education and training footprint of British companies around the world has a significant and excellent impact on communities and economies and is often taken for granted.

As the UK ramps up its trade rhetoric and a ‘Global Britain’ emerges, one of the key benefits that British companies bring is being overlooked: Education and training…

The penny dropped for me as I attended a meeting of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) members to find that one after the other, each company was committed to the concept of a learning organisation that are locally integrated. Not only are British companies employing as many local people as possible, but also training them to deliver increasingly complex managerial and technical roles.

Oil and gas companies, Shell and BP in particular, deliver an extraordinary amount of training in Iraq alone. The effect on the local communities and national economies is a massive injection of know-how and a source of social stability, development, prosperity and economic progress, let alone the transformative power training confers on individuals, families and communities.

Not only are our companies a source of prosperity, but when partnered with UK Universities offer a double whammy for the delivery of global standards and expertise that  few countries can match in country and via external courses, such as delivered by Oxford Brooks and Northampton Universities.

Emerging economies appreciate this expertise, as it raises business operations to global standards and enables them to compete with the best, to encourage inward investment and generate employment opportunities in their regions.

Oil and Power companies in particular make a big social impact on their suppliers. Osama Kadhum Managing Director of Ratba’ contracting in Iraq says his staff received 3885 hours of training in Majnoon Oilfield from Shell alone, ensuring the highest technical and supervisory standards are applied.

GE power likewise employ over 90% of local staff, often sent for technical training in USA or x for 6-12 month stretches supporting local recruitment , diversity of employees, and women for increasingly leadership and supervisory roles. Shell in Iraq train over 7,900 local staff in Basra for whom they are delivering over 200,000 training days per year. BP and its Partners are developing the Rumaila field which is supported by a 93% Iraqi workforce.

Around 2,400,000 training hours have been delivered to staff in a variety of technical disciplines, core skills, leadership and safety.  And these figures do not include community initiatives such as an extensive community vocational training programme that has been running for 3 years, or 400 women from a remote community that have been trained in the Rumaila funded Qarmat Ali Women’s Training Centre.

In Baghdad Serco have set up an ATC Academy for Air traffic Controllers. Multiply this scale of training globally in just Iraq and you begin to see the scale and quality of training that British companies deliver among International, Emerging and Frontier markets.

More widely Rolls- Royce has committed an ambitious plan to reach 6 million people worldwide through their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) education programmes between 2014- 2020. This bold target will encourage a more creative and engaging outreach through the company’s supply chain, through the wider STEM sector and to inspire society to attract talented young people from around the world to the world of STEM.

Businesses are often castigated by the media, but the reality is that they are usually a force for good, prosperity and ultimately stronger communities. So let’s celebrate the important impact British companies’ commitment to education and training brings to millions of people and their ability to change the world.

Ashley Goodall is a martketing consultant to Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).

Iraq Britain Business Council welcomes 7 New Members

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that several new companies have joined the Iraq Britain Business Council in 2017, each of which are underpinned by strong reputations for innovation, reliability and a commitment to investing in Iraq.

Al Ratba’a Contracting Company, Al-Burhan Group, Iraq Star Group, Serco, Shamara Holding, Cresent and Rolls Royce join 52 other world- and region-leading companies that form IBBC’s Council of Members.

Al Ratba’a Contracting Company is based in Basra, Iraq, and provides high quality services with improved construction systems and processes, and innovation in accordance with the regulations and international standards to satisfy its customers. Al Ratba’a has 16 years of experience doing business in Iraq, with its headquarters based in Basrah and offices in Baghdad, employing over 800 international and Iraqi staff. Its network of clients and partners includes many international and national firms working across the country in numerous industrial sectors. Al Ratba’a has 12 years of experience working in the Oil & Gas sector, with base camps located in all major Oil fields in Southern Iraq. Its services span a wide range of associated activities across the Oil & Gas industry. For more information visit: http://intraq8.com/al-ratbaa-company/

Al-Burhan Group is a conglomerate based in Iraq and is actively involved in key projects across the country focusing on consultation, construction, equipment and machinery supply, milling, security assistance, hospitality services and transportation. Al Burhan Group is considered an “A” grade company making them one of the top companies in Iraq that is licensed and that has the ability to conduct large scale projects. Al Burhan Group has received numerous awards over the years, two of which being for Reliability and Quality of Service. For more information visit: www.alburhangroup.com

Cresent is Control of Work and Health and Safety specialists, with over 30 years’ experience working in hazardous industries around the world. Cresent’s scope extends across a wide range of facilities on and offshore. Since 2012 Cresent has been working with clients in Iraq, and has been helping make Iraq’s oil fields safer by producing numerous safety training packages in Arabic and English, delivering training to more than 80,000 people in Iraq, coaching 100 Iraqi Safety Trainers and providing work clothing, posters, booklets, campaigns and other information for people at the Rumaila and the West Qurna Oil Fields. For more information visit: www.cresent.co.uk

Iraq Star Group is a leading provider of armed security solutions for international clients across Iraq. The company is 100% Iraqi owned and based in the southern city of Basra. Iraq Star Group has decades of experience in the provision of complex security solutions and is an approved provider to the largest International Oil and Gas companies operating in Iraq. For more information visit: www.iraq-star137.com

IBBC Celebrates Successful Inaugural Conference in Dubai

More than 180 expert speakers and delegates from the UK, Iraq, UAE and abroad gathered in Dubai at The Address Dubai Marina on Sunday 18 December for the Iraq Britain Business Council’s (IBBC) Autumn Conference.

Usually held in London, the well-attended conference marked the first time the IBBC has held an event in the UAE, a hub for global and regional companies that operate in the Middle East.

The decision to move the Autumn Conference to Dubai has certainly proven to be a good one, with the new location attracting a new audience of business leaders and decision makers based in the region.

A record number of delegates from non-member companies registered for the event, including representatives from Mitsubishi, Serco, Rolls-Royce, Capital Bank of Jordan and LUKOIL.

They were joined by representatives from IBBC member companies, such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Siemens, GE, Amec Foster Wheeler, GardaWorld, Restrata, Eversheds and more.

The conference was supported by H.E. Mr Kadhim Finjan Al-Hamami, Iraq’s Minister of Transport, and Mr Frank Baker OBE, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq, who jointly opened the event with IBBC President Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne.

The theme of the conference was ‘Doing Business in Iraq’. Delegates heard from Ariel Flores, General Manager of BP (Rumaila Operating Organisation), on operating Rumaila in a $50-barrel world during the first session, ‘The Iraq Oil and Gas Sector in 2016’. He focused particularly on how investing in technology, training and safety is key to Rumaila’s operations.

Meanwhile, Marwa Al Nasaa, the International Monetary Fund’s Resident Representative for Iraq delivered an overview of the IMF’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), economic developments under the SBA and a forecast of what’s to come.

Other headlining speakers included Dennis Flannery of Citibank, Dr Jafar Dhia Jafar of URUK Engineering and Contracting Company LLC., Zeeshan Sheikh of the International Finance Corporation, Salem Jawad Chalabi of Stephenson Horwood Middle East LLP and Jorge Vila of Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation (IMMDF), who addressed the audience from Paris via a Skype link-up.

IBBC members also joined panel discussions. Asrar Abdulhussein Mohammed of International Islamic Bank participated in the finance session, while Iain Rawlinson of Gulftainer and Peter Turner of SKA International shared their insights on opportunities in Iraq for investment and partnership within the transport and logistics sectors.

Amar Shubar of Management Partners, Gavin Rennie of EY, Afif Masri of PwC and Vikas Handa of Beas LLC (formerly of Weir Group) chaired the panels on finance, power, opportunities in the private sector and O&G respectively.

he IBBC Autumn Conference was generously sponsored by the Islamic International Bank, Gulftainer, Weir Group, SKA International and the IMMDF.

The IBBC’s next conference will take place at Mansion House, London, on Monday 3 April 2017. More information will be available in due course.

For information on the IBBC Autumn Conference, membership or conference sponsorship opportunities, contact the IBBC London team at london@webuildiraq.org or +44 20 7222 7100 or our UAE Representative Samer Al-Omari at samer.alomari@webuildiraq.org or +971552088000.

(Source: IBBC)

UK opens Criminal Investigation into Unaoil

By John Lee.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced that it is conducting a criminal investigation into Unaoil, the Monaco-based company that has been implicated in an international corruption scandal.

A statement from the SFO called for information relating to the allegations:

The SFO is conducting a criminal investigation into the activities of Unaoil, its officers, its employees and its agents in connection with suspected offences of bribery, corruption and money laundering.  

“We have been approached by a number of sources who may have information relevant to this investigation.  If you have any information please contact us through our secure and confidential reporting channel.”

According to The Guardian, Rolls-Royce, Petrofac and Halliburton are among the dozens of multinationals reported to have hired Unaoil, which acts as an agent to help companies secure business in unfamiliar overseas markets.

(Sources: The Guardian, SFO)

New Allegations of Massive Corruption in Iraq Oil Industy

By John Lee.

An investigation by Fairfax Media — publisher of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers — and The Huffington Post, claims that Monaco-based Unaoil has been involved in widespread bribery and corruption in the oil industry, including in Iraq, Iran and Libya.

Following examination of tens of thousands of emails, the report says that Unaoil channelled huge bribes to government officials on behalf of its clients to help win billions of dollars worth of government contracts.

In Iraq, it accuses the company, and its country manager Basil Al Jarah, of arranging bribes for clients including Rolls-Royce, Petrofac, Clyde Pumps, Weatherford, Cameron/Natco, FMC Technologies, Saipem, SBM Offshore, MAN Turbo, Rosetti Marino, ABB, The Shaw Group, Core Labs, Leighton Offshore, Weir and Hyundai.

Public officials allegedly implicated include Dr Hussain al-Shahristani, former Minister for Oil and current Minister for Education, who has denied any wrongdoing; Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi [Elaibi], former Minister for Oil; Kifah Numan, Director General of the South Oil Company (SOC); Dhia Jaffar also a Director General of the SOC and since last year a Deputy Minister for Oil in the Iraqi government; and Oday al-Quraishi (SOC).

According to the report, “Unaoil made Dhia Jaffar and Oday al-Quraishi wealthy men.

Family owned and controlled, Unaoil was founded by the Iranian-born Ata Ahsani, who left Tehran at the time of the Islamic revolution. The company says it “strenuously [denies] any wrongdoing and consider[s] the allegations to be baseless and entirely false.

The original story can be read in more detail here.

(Source: The Age)

(Corruption image via Shutterstock)