1 May 2021 - 14:38
  • News Code: 315833
Gas Transmission Record Smashed

TEHRAN (Shana) -- Being in charge of running more than 37,000 kilometers of pipeline and 86 gas compressor stations, Iran’s gas transmission industry ranks the first in Asia and the Middle East, and the fourth globally behind the US, Russia and Canada. The most important task assigned to the Iranian Gas Transmission Company (IGTC) is to purchase natural gas, ethane, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and gas liquids from domestic and foreign suppliers and sell them to domestic customers and export terminals and conduct swap process.

The following is the text of "Iran Petroleum" interview with Mehdi Jamshidi-Dana, the CEO of IGTC.

Given the existence of 10 gas transmission zones in Iran, could you tell us the current capacity of IGTC gas transmission? How much gas did IGCT deliver to end users during the first 10 months of the current calendar year?

The company has capacity to transmit more than 280 bcm/y of gas. In the current calendar year, 212 bcm of gas was transmitted during the first 10 months of the year, up 5% year-on-year.

How much is the maximum gas transferred in a single day? When was it?

On February 21, 851.4 mcm/d of sweet gas was fed into trunklines, which set a record even 7% higher year-on-year.

What about intelligent pigging and leak detection in the current calendar year?

Pigging was carried out on 8,372km of Iran Gas Trunkline-3 (IGAT-3), IGAT-4 and IGAT-7. Through this operation, 1,596km of pipeline was inspected while 3,751km has undergone cleaning pigging. Leak detention was planned for 37,434km in the current calendar year. Until March 6, more than 35,778km underwent leak detection, i.e. nearly 95% of the target.

What measures have been undertaken at compressor stations, and what technical modifications were made to guarantee sustainable gas supply in winter?

The planned maintenance work was done at gas compressor stations and on pipelines despite the coronavirus pandemic. To that effect, 64 turbines and 45 gas compressors were repaired. Furthermore, 33 plans were envisaged with regard to pipeline repairs, coating and intelligent pigging, 30 of which has been completed while 3 are under way. These operations are under way in the gas transmission districts 3, 2 and 9, IGAT-2, Rey-Semnan and IGAT-1. Intelligent pigging was also done on parts of IGAT-3 and on full IGAT-4. The second line of Tehran also underwent pigging. Meanwhile, overhaul resulting from intelligent pigging of IGAT-4 and IGAT-7 was carried out. Reparation on IGAT-3, Tehran’s 4th and 5th pipelines were also done. Regarding replacement of coating on IGAT-1 and IGAT-2, a total of 90km was handled in Sarkhoun-Rafsanjan, Qeshm-Bandar Abbas and Sarakhs-Neka pipelines.

What are the plans envisaged for next calendar year (starting on 21 March 2021)?

In the maintenance of gas compressor installations, 80 turbines and 60 gas compressors would be overhauled. Regarding maintenance of pipelines, a total of 1,100 cases of reparation on IGAT-4, 134 cases on IGAT-7, 818 cases on IGAT-3, 1,452 km of intelligent pigging, 123km of coating replacement (including 42km for Sarkhoun and 24 km for IGAT-2) would be done. Meantime, 8 pipeline safety projects would be carried out in District 9.

Could you tell us about outsourcing at IGTC?

Q&M outsourcing is on the IGTC agenda with an approach of physical assets management and compliant with governing documents including the bylaw on outsourcing Petroleum Ministry activities and in line with corporate strategies. In this regard, by devising a risk assessment model, all installations at gas compressor stations and pipeline production centers have been studied and low-risk installations and pipelines with shortage of manpower have been subject to outsourcing. A 10-year outsourcing roadshow has been devised, which is to be updated next calendar year. The installations at the Safa Shahr-4 gas compressor station were outsourced in 2019, yielding effective results. Furthermore, outsourcing Semnan’s installations would get under way in coming months and while outsourcing is planned for five BOT installations, including Kuhdasht, Deilam, Bid-Boland, Ahvaz and Hosseinieh.

How is the process of outsourcing and selection of companies?

A major risk with outsourcing is the lack of outsource companies or refusal of qualified companies to bid for outsourcing. Therefore, a general assessment was needed on the interest and capability of private companies, as well as market potential. Direct relationship between the outsourcer and the outsource companies and potential outsource companies must be constantly maintained. A databank created for that purpose should be regularly updated to record the specifications and track record of companies. About 29 companies attended outsourcing meetings. No quality assessment was carried out, but based on the general assessment and on the strength of documents presented to that effect; at least 10 qualified companies are ready to act as outsource companies in the operation of gas compressor stations.

What has IGTC done with regard to self-sufficiency in the manufacturing of necessary equipment? What are its future plans?

Regarding self-sufficiency activities, more than 710 items of commodity, equipment and parts have thus far been domestically manufactured. Of this, 403 items pertain to valve mechanics, 196 in electricity and instrumentation and 109 items are associated with processing. As far as filters are concerned, more than IRR 200 billion has been annually saved. In the industrial oil production, more than IRR 212 billion has been saved annually. In 2019 only, domestically-made equipment worth IRR 40 billion was used. Future self-sufficiency plans envisaged by IGTC include drawing up a self-sufficiency roadmap, five-year self-sufficiency planning, sharing knowhow and technology achieved from all zones and subsidiaries, setting up specialized working groups on electricity and instrumentation, mechanics, processing and pipelines, identifying challenges and obstacles.

How is cooperation with knowledge-based and technological companies followed up on at IGTC?

In research and technology, more than 53 research projects worth IRR 103 billion have been carried out in partnership with universities and knowledge-based centers, while 26 research projects worth IRR 349 billion are under way. Cooperation with academic centers and knowledge-based companies is followed up on by the R&D Division of IGTC. Meantime, academic centers and knowledge-based companies are identified through specialized technomarkets held annually by National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), as well as R&D Demand and Supply System software. All research proposals that have been assessed based on IGTC needs, and approved by the IGTC Research Council have directly been instrumental in overcoming challenges and problems, significantly reduced costs and saved large amounts of hard currency. For instance, an IRR 240 billion major research project under way involves implementing a system to monitor Siemens turbines. Implementing this project would save IRR 32 billion in annual costs of rotary machinery maintenance for each turbocompressor unit.

What measures have IGTC taken to protect the environment and guarantee the safety of pipelines and installations?

The safety of gas trunklines is associated with the pipeline integrity management system (PIMS). This approach considers 21 common threats to gas trunklines in devising preventive measures, regular monitoring strategies. Some of these threats are corrosion, third party, and infringement of boundaries, security threats, natural disasters, stress corrosion cracking, and construction problems at pipelines. Some of the most important measures adopted against these threats are demarcation, patrolling, corrosion management, controlling maintenance, examining pipe coating, making gas pipelines resilient, class and route modifications, intelligent and cleaning pigging – all aimed at pipeline risk management and reducing consequences. To that effect, supervising the performance of contractors is a key element in IGTC activities within the HSE framework. Such supervision existed both at the time of drafting contract documents and during activity of contractors. Regarding the environment, by managing carbon emissions and reducing environmental pollutant emissions through preventive maintenance of equipment, greenhouse gas emissions are managed. Creating or modifying industrial and human waste systems, managing energy resources and optimizing consumption, and creating green space based on obligations are among the most important measures for protecting the environment. Recently, in the management of waste from origin and using zero waste index (ZWI) and determining emission coefficients, very effective measures have been taken, which would yield in the near future with positive economic and environmental results.

Anything else you would like to add?

Gas transmission is the beginning of outsourcing. Systemic attitude and the experience of implementation of Article 44 of the Constitution require us not to step into darkness through a high-risk route. However, one forgotten risk in similar experiences is the assessment of outsourcing potential and openness of the private sector to partnership. In order to assess these risks, identify potentialities and raise awareness of future strategic partners, companies specializing in the four sectors of operating compressor stations, operating pipelines, overhaul of rotary machinery and intelligent pigging were invited to identify themselves. Qualified companies were identified and separate meetings were held with the company managers. During the meetings, the labor market perspective, investment opportunities, contents of agreements and methods of assessment in tender bids were explained. The views of experienced contractors were applied with a view to minimizing partnership risks. Exemplary synergy was observed in this project. Valuable experience was exchanged between the two parties. Three stakeholders are involved: IGTC, contractors and the industry. By creating transparent communications and public information, any ground for benefitting from leaked information was removed and the experience of other industries including power plants was received. Dynamism and competition picked up speed between potential outsource companies, whose final result would be upgrading the capability of these companies.

By Mahnaz Mohammad-Qoli

Courtesy of Iran Petroleum

News Code 315833


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