SIPIEM Striving to Dominate Regional Markets

SIPIEM Striving to Dominate Regional MarketsSIPIEM Striving to Dominate Regional Markets

Iranian producers of oil equipment look forward to cooperating with foreign companies to dominate regional markets, the head of the Society of Iranian Petroleum Industries Equipment Manufacturers said.

Reza Khayyamian added that negotiations with foreign companies gained impetus after Iran's political and economic rapprochement with the world following its landmark nuclear agreement in July, IRNA reported.

"A major agreement is expected to be signed with Germany during the visit of German Vice Chancellor (Sigmar Gabriel) to Tehran this week," he said without elaboration. Tehran and Berlin took a huge step forward in improving relations after Germany's major engineering firm Siemens released the first batch of Iran's frozen oil and gas equipment in February. The official added that Azerbaijan is negotiating terms to buy oil equipment from Iran.

"A major delegation of Azerbaijan's largest oil company [SOCAR] visited Tehran last week and continued negotiations," he said. SOCAR, or the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, is also mulling over swapping petroleum products with Iran in the Persian Gulf region.

Khayyamian singled out Iraq as Iran's most important market in the oil equipment industry, adding that the war-ravaged neighbor, who relies on selling oil for roughly 90% of its revenue, needs to invest at least $300 billion to shore up its most important economic sector. Afghanistan and members of the Commonwealth of Independent States are the biggest markets for Iran's oil equipment. However, Khayyamian called for tackling domestic hurdles as he drew a sharp line between Iran and China's oil equipment industry.

"Some Chinese equipment are cheaper than similar Iranian products. China offers incentives for exports, but there is no such thing in Iran," he said. "Bureaucracy is one of the issues that hamper production."