The Iraqi oil and gas industry is fast experiencing a resurgence in 2018. Production levels are on the rise and oil and gas companies are ramping back up. Added to these developments, new market entrants are expanding into the country and the Iraqi government is in the process of rolling out ambitious plans.
This articles explores how the country’s oil and gas sector is recovering and how it will grow further in 2018 and beyond. We then look at the five qualities to look for when choosing an oil and gas manpower agency in Iraq.
Iraqi Oil & Gas Sector Growth in 2018
The Iraqi government has been working on attracting international oil and gas companies to the country, building refineries and ramping up oil production across Iraq, including the autonomous region of Kurdistan. In the south of Iraq, American energy company Orion has agreed a deal with the government to process natural gas extracted from its enormous Nahr Bin Omar oilfield.
Russian oil giant Rosneft has already committed to spending an estimated $1 billion in Kurdistan. More recently, British oil and gas company BP signed a deal to boost crude oil production at the Kirkuk oilfield in the north of the country. Other global oil companies, including PetroChina, Chevron and Total are also in discussions with the Iraqi government to partner on new production projects.
New deals are coming thick and fast, pumping much needed foreign investment into an oil and gas industry that requires extensive updates, including the building of new pipelines, refineries and general infrastructure renewal.
2018 is set to be a turnaround year for the industry in Iraq, filled with growth opportunity for international oil and gas companies to increase their presence in Iraq, come to market for the first time or return after a period of absence.
The 5 qualities to look for in oil and gas sector manpower providers
1. Experience, knowhow and certified excellence
A trusted local partner is one that follows international standards of excellence, and has demonstrable experience and knowhow. On-the-ground support across Iraq as well as an intimate knowledge of both the oil and gas sector and Iraqi business culture should also be apparent from the get-go. Agile response will help ensure that there are no bottlenecks in operations and that your needs are met swiftly.
2. A strong track record
How long has the agency been in business? What companies have been their clients and do they develop long-term working relationships? Do they have any geographical limitations or are they able to mobilise quickly in any area across Iraq?
A good agency views you as a partner, and works with you to assimilate your objectives, operations, legal requirements, long term plans and constraints. Through working like this, they are able to pinpoint your precise needs and deliver value-added results in any region in Iraq.
3. A range of in-demand specialist services
When searching for your own provider, it is good practice to first identify all your needs to do with staffing, personnel training and development, and logistical support. Benchmarking each agency under your consideration, you can then cross check their services against your needs.
Does the staffing provider focus on just one or two areas or can they help with a range of needs? Services that most international companies coming to Iraq need typically include:
- Recruitment and Talent Search
- Workforce Solutions
- Training & Development
- Logistical Support, Immigration
4. Proven expertise with hiring expat personnel
You may need to hire non-Iraqi professionals for your operations in Iraq. The straightforward solution may appear to be to work with an international recruitment agency. But, if you can find a national Iraqi agency that offers demonstrable experience recruiting expats, it can reduce costs and save time.
Better still if they offer this service as part of a comprehensive, turnkey staffing service. You can ask agencies under your consideration if they provide expat recruitment and related services. If so, they should also be willing to discuss this experience and what they can offer your company.
5. National and international reach
Does the agency have offices across Iraq? Do they have presence in the major cities, including Baghdad, Basra and Erbil? A reputable agency should be able to mobilise their team efficiently, regardless of location within the country.
Further afield, international offices in the Middle Eastern region and elsewhere offer an indicator of professionalism and a commitment to international business standards. This considerable reach allows us to better serve our clients and respond to your needs faster.
The final word
The importance of working with a good Iraqi oil and gas manpower agency cannot be understated. Doing so can help you to hit the ground running and achieve your business goals faster in Iraq.
MSELECT is the Iraqi oil and gas staffing solutions provider of choice for BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, Weatherford and Schlumberger, among many other international clients. We are ISO-certified, locally licensed and are registered as an approved vendor with the necessary authorities.
Everything we do is based on our strict commitment to international standards of excellence. This allows us to best serve our clients with leading solutions for recruitment, payroll, immigration, mobility, training and workforce development, strategic advice and agile on-the-ground support.
Get in touch for your free consultation today.