By Gulf Intelligence
January 17 could mark a pivotal moment in Iran’s economic history; the day Tehran shrugged off the shackles of Western-imposed sanctions and stepped back onto the global energy stage as a serious competitor. Or it may not.
Iran’s new economic freedom could reverse the fortunes of its struggling economy and open the biggest bonanza for international energy companies since the ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003. Foreign firms are increasingly heading to Tehran; the control centre that manages the country's position as home to the world’s second largest natural gas reserves and fourth largest oil reserves.
But…and it is a big one…Iran’s is re-emerging into a volatile market. Oil prices have collapsed by around 75% since June 2014 and dipped below $30/bl in January, marking a 12-year low. Plus, Iran's cash requirements to bolster its oil and gas sector as planned comes to US$ 186bn and investors – especially those with US links – are particularly jittery. Still, it is inevitable that Gulf countries will need to sharpen their competitive edges, as Iran’s tenacious appetite to push to the front of the global jostle for Asian and European clients remains unabated.
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