United Kingdom


Two charged in UK’s Unaoil Investigation

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged two individuals in relation to the Unaoil investigation.

Ziad Akle (42) and Basil Al Jarah (68) have both been charged by requisition with conspiracy to make corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq to Unaoil’s client SBM Offshore.

Akle, who resides in London, was Unaoil’s territory manager for Iraq, while Al Jarah, who lives in Hull, was Unaoil’s Iraq partner.

A third man, Saman Ahsani, is subject to an extradition request to Monaco on related charges; he was Unaoil’s Commercial Director.

The charges relate to alleged corrupt conduct within Unaoil, between June 2005 and August 2011.

  • Basil Al Jarah has been charged with two offences of conspiracy to make corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
  • Ziad Akle has been charged with one offence of conspiracy to make corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

Ziad Akle and Basil Al Jarah will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court at 10am on Thursday 7th December.

The investigation is ongoing.

(Source: SFO)

KCA Deutag Wins New Iraq Drilling Contracts

By John Lee.

UK-based drilling and engineering contractor KCA Deutag has announced that it has been awarded a one year contract for two rigs to carry out land drilling operations in Southern Iraq.

Its T-210 rig (pictured) will move from Oman to work along with the T-601, bringing the company’s total number of rigs in Southern Iraq up to three.

This new contract, along with deals for another three rigs in other territories, have a combined contract value of $48 million.

Commenting on these awards, Simon Drew President of Land said:

“These contract wins, which come in a tough environment in the wider oil industry, are very important to the Land Business Unit and KCA Deutag as a whole.  They have been won against intense competition and I would congratulate all our staff on delivering these contract successes.  We look forward to delivering value to our clients through exceptional well construction performance.”

(Source: KCA Deutag)

IBBC holds Successful Autumn Conference in Dubai

Iraq Britain Business Council holds successful Autumn Conference in Dubai

Following on from the first Iraq Britain Business Council conference in Dubai in 2016, the IBBC was delighted to host its Autumn Conference in the UAE once again. The event was strongly supported by the UAE authorities.

Alongside Baroness Nicholson, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq and President of the IBBC, the conference was opened by H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, Under Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, UAE Ministry of Economy.

The Minister reminded delegates that non-Oil & Gas related trade between the UAE and Iraq had already passed 11 Billion USD in 2016, with Dubai in particular being a hub for local and international companies in the region.

The Minister firmly believes that the UAE’s role in the rebuilding of Iraq will continue to expand and expressed his wish to cooperate with organisations such as the IBBC to accomplish this crucial task.

Vikas Handa, IBBC UAE Representative and the Managing Director of the Emirati Company DrillTech, warmly thanked the minister and stated that the IBBC stands ready to work even more closely with the UAE in Iraq.

The Government of Iraq sent a high calibre ministerial delegation led by H.E. Mr Qasim Al-Fahdawi, The Minister of Electricity, to the conference. The delegation included H.E. Mrs Ann Naufi Aussi Balbool, Minister of Construction Housing and Public Municipalities; H.E. Kadhim Fijan Al Hamami, Minister of Transport; H.E. Dr Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC); and H.E. Mr Fayadh Hassan Nima, Deputy Minister of Oil for refining affairs.

The conference was structured around several sessions in which the Iraqi officials and international companies operating successfully in Iraq, most of which are members of the IBBC, exchanged their views and experiences.

These sessions focused on strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the economy in Iraq, Reconstruction & Infrastructure, Transport, Power and Oil & Gas. In parallel, a series of high level round-table discussions between investors and Iraqi Government representatives took place.

The conference included for the first time a presentation on the rapidly developing Tech sector in Iraq , given by the CEO of Zain.

IBBC thanks the International Finance Corporation (World Bank) and the IMF for its participation. Thanks also go to the IBBC members who sponsored the conference: Gold Sponsor International Islamic Bank; Silver Sponsors Serco and Gulftainer; Lunch Sponsor Rolls-Royce; pre-reception Sponsor Wood; and Coffee Break Sponsors Eversheds Sutherland and KCA Deutag.

IBBC Managing Director, Christophe Michels, stated that the increasing involvement of the UAE and wider GCC with Iraq was a game changer for the country. The IBBC very much welcomes this development and is delighted to be part of it and support it. The organisation will increase its presence in the UAE and the Autumn Conference in Dubai will become a regular feature in its calendar of events.

(Source: IBBC)

Kurdistan Oil Conference in London Postponed

By John Lee.

The CWC Kurdistan-Iraq Oil and Gas conference, planned for London in December, has been postponed.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cited “the current logistical and other circumstances affecting the Kurdistan Region” for their request to reschedule the conference.

CWC has said that new dates and venue will be announced shortly.

(Sources: KRG, CWC)

60 New Projects to be Announced at IBBC Dubai Conference

Iraqi ministers intend to announce and discuss up to 60 intended projects at the IBBC summit conference this weekend in Dubai.

In a surge of confidence, a number of Iraqi ministers will be unveiling a raft of infrastructure, oil, power and industrial projects across numerous industry sectors:

  • Construction: Water treatment, waste water, housing, malls & infrastructure projects
  • Industry & Minerals: 10 new projects, including petrochemicals, methanol and phosphates
  • Oil: 4 new refineries, 3 refurbishments and 2 new initiatives
  • Energy: 32 separate power projects
  • Transport: Port projects and new railways

Vikas Handa, Director of IBBC Dubai says:

We have been pleasantly surprised by the volume of opportunities the Iraqi Ministers have come forward with this Autumn, and it’s clear they are keen to drive forward economic development through major projects. There are also numerous adjacent opportunities on offer for a broad range of sectors.

“For those companies interested to attend the Conference, they will also be able to engage with the Delegation at more intimate round table discussions.

“We welcome companies to enjoy the inside track, to meet the attending ministers and discuss how your company can engage with these opportunities.

To attend, register and sign up for the conference here: www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/autumn-conference/

Baghdad “Looks to Take Control of KRG Oil”

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

The Iraqi State Organization for Marketing Oil (SOMO) announced Nov. 2 that it is arranging with Turkey to allow SOMO to sell Iraqi crude from the disputed territories through the pipeline from Kirkuk to the Ceyhan Turkish port.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) used to export about 500,000 barrels per day independently through Ceyhan before the Baghdad operation to retake the disputed areas in mid-October.

It was not long after the Iraqi army took over the oil fields in Kirkuk in a military operation to “impose security,” as described by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, that the federal government resumed oil pumping operations.

The operations started about a week after the clashes between governmental forces and Kurdish peshmerga forces. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Oil rushed to increase oil production, and on Oct. 23, the ministry requested the help of the British petroleum company BP in increasing production in Kirkuk oil fields to more than 700,000 barrels per day. The ministry also announced the formation of a ministerial committee to advance the oil industry in the province of Kirkuk.

Kirkuk has more than 35 billion barrels in oil reserves and a production capacity ranging from 750,000 to 1 million barrels per day. The federal government seems determined to control the oil sources, especially in Kirkuk and the disputed areas. In light of this, on Oct. 19, the Iraqi minister of oil warned all countries and international petroleum companies against signing contracts with any Iraqi party without first consulting the federal government.

Outgoing UK Ambassador discusses his Hopes for Iraq

The final statement from Frank Baker, UK Ambassador to Iraq. In this, Frank reflects on his 3.5 years in the role and discusses his hopes for Iraq’s future:

After over three years in Baghdad I am moving on from my role as British Ambassador to Iraq. It has been an incredible journey, in a fascinating country, at a challenging time. When I arrived in the summer of 2014, over one third of Iraqi territory was in the hands of Daesh.

Its fighters were approaching the outskirts of Baghdad. The country was under a significant threat. Three years on, the caliphate has been destroyed and Daesh itself is on the brink of collapse. It has been defeated by the strength of ordinary Iraqis; the commitment of the Iraqi government under the leadership of Prime Minister Haider al Abadi; and the immense courage of the Iraqi Security Forces.

I pay tribute to all those Iraqis who have died or been wounded in the fight to liberate your country from the tyranny of Daesh. And I am proud that the UK, a longstanding friend of Iraq, has, as a leading member of the Global Coalition, stood by Iraq and Iraqis in the face of Daesh’s violence and oppression.

But while Daesh is in retreat, challenges remain. These include stabilising liberated areas; resolving internal political tensions; reconstructing the country; and carrying out difficult but necessary economic reform – including ending the curse of corruption which affects so many Iraqis. I am fully confident in the capacity of Iraq and Iraqis to rise to these challenges.

Fmr UK Consul-General takes up UNAMI Post

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has appointed Alice Walpole of the United Kingdom as Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

Ms. Walpole succeeds György Busztin of Hungary, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service since 2011 in support of the United Nations role in Iraq.

Ms. Walpole brings a wealth of diplomatic and other relevant experience to the position, including serving for a two-year period as British Consul-General in Basra, Iraq. She most recently served as British Ambassador to Mali, and prior to that as Ambassador to Luxembourg. She has also served in various capacities in London, New York, Brussels and Dar es Salaam with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Ms. Walpole earned first class degrees in English Literature at Cambridge University.

(Source: UNAMI)

IBBC completes Successful Trade Mission to Baghdad

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) and UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Iraq, led a delegation of 25 IBBC member company representatives on a Trade Mission to Baghdad organised by IBBC Managing Director, Mr Christophe Michels and IBBC Co-Chairman and Iraq Representative, Mr Rasmi Al-Jabri.

Delegates included representatives from Penspen Ltd, Kuwait Energy, Serco, Wood, Ratba’a Contracting Co., Management Partners, Gulftainer, HWH & Associates, Al-Burhan Group, CCC, Dar Group, Restrata, Rolls Royce and new member XReach Ltd.

The delegation met with a number of ministers and high ranking officials to discuss future policies and opportunities for growth as well as focusing on business opportunities for IBBC member companies.

They also discussed the upcoming IBBC Autumn Conference in Dubai to be held on 12 November which will be attended by a powerful Iraqi Government delegation led by the Minister of Electricity. To register, please follow the link: http://www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/autumn-conference/

During the visit, delegates had meetings with:

  • Mr Qasim Al-Fahdawi, Minister of Electricity
  • Mr Abdul Kariem Al Faisal, Chairman of the PM’s Advisory Committee
  • Dr Mahdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers
  • Dr Ann Nafi Aussi Balbool, Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • ‎Mr Dara Rasheed, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • Mr Istabrak al Shouk, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • Mr Imran Abass, Deputy Minister of Transport
  • H.E. Mr Fayyad Naama Deputy Minister for refining operations, Ministry of Oil

The above meetings were joined by a number of Director Generals heading up the different departments in the various ministries.

On Sunday 29 October, IBBC Member Al Burhan Group, generously invited delegates for dinner at the Al Burhan Centre near the Baghdad International Airport.

The delegation was also invited for a Dinner at the British Embassy in Baghdad on Monday 30 October, where members delegates met with Representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Trade, the World Bank, the EU and the Prime Ministers Advisory Council.

 

(Source: IBBC)

Opportunity for UAE Business: Key Iraqi Ministers come to Conference

Rebuilding Iraq is central to the agenda of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) autumn conference at The Address, Dubai Marina on 12th November.

The opportunity for businesses in the region to engage in Iraq is reflected by the attendance of a number of high profile Iraqi Ministers: from Electricity, Transport, Oil, Construction and Housing, to the Governor of Basrah and International financiers, including the IMF and World Bank.

Vikas Handa, the IBBC UAE representative agrees:

“Iraq is the second largest oil producer in OPEC and has one of the biggest programmes for new power generation projects in the region; Iraq presents massive opportunities for housing, Infrastructure and FMCG businesses. The event is designed to discover the opportunities and projects live and intended in Iraq, for business people to meet the decision makers, to obtain insights and to network”.

UAE is increasingly seen as the regional hub for corporate operations in Iraq and the place where business decisions are determined.

We can confirm this as a range of leading international companies are attending, including GE, Siemens, BP, Wood, Serco, Shell, Petronas, Gulftainer, Zain, KCA Deutag, the International Islamic Bank and more. There will also be plenty of networking and engagement on the sidelines beyond the main stage.

The IBBC Dubai conference is also the location for the Governor of Basrah to outline his vision for the future, and it is expected ministers will outline the latest thinking on the evolving situation in Iraq and the opportunities this brings.

To register, please follow the link: http://www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/autumn-conference/

(Source: IBBC)