10 May 2021 - 13:22
  • News Code: 316106
5 Petro Museums across Iran

TEHRAN (Shana) -- Recreation and display of the historical identity of oil in a land, where the first Middle East oil wells were drilled and whose petroleum industry is more than a century old now pushed the Petroleum Ministry to put on exhibit this historical identity.

Under the instruction of Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh in 2013, the Directorate of Petroleum Industry Museums and Documents was established. Since then, four petroleum museums have been launched across Iran: Abadan Artisan Museum, Abadan Gas Station Museum, Darvazeh Dowlat Filling Station Museum in Tehran, Kerosene-Burners Museum in Kerman. The Sabzevar petroleum museum had been launched in 2001.

Akbar Nematollahi, director of Petroleum Industry Museums and Documents, said more than 128 oil locations had been registered in the country, 28 of which was suitable to accommodate petroleum museums.

He said that the Petroleum Ministry was a leading organ in establishing industrial museums, adding that the ministry was seeking to inaugurate museums in Masjed Soleiman, Kermanshah and Mashhad, too.

The following is a brief review of petroleum museums in Iran:

Sabzevar Petroleum Museum

The Sabzevar petroleum museum is the first petroleum industry museum in Iran which was established prior to the establishment of Directorate of Petroleum Museums and Documents. It was launched in mid-2000s by a group of staff of National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC). This museum, which was a center for distributing gasoline and petroleum products, used to be known as the building of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). Following nationalization of oil industry in Iran, AIOC was renamed as National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). The pivotal location of Sabzevar in storage and distribution of petroleum products across large swathes of land in northeast of Iran was a major reason for the formation of this museum. At the Sabzevar museum, more than 200 items have been coded. Some of them are instruments, lab equipment, firefighting tools, refinery equipment, oil and gasoline pumps, valves, diesel-powered engines and measures. Following the set up of the Directorate of Petroleum Museums and Documents, the items held there were examined by experts and finally 210 items were chosen to be held at museum. The museum has an outdoor and an indoor section. In the outdoor section, clapped-out items, a drilling rig, old pumps and valves are on display. Inside the museum, there is a photo gallery.

Abadan Gas Station Museum

The Abadan gas station was the first fuel station built in Iran in 1927. It was first used for the distribution of kerosene. But after a while, as cars entered Iran, it became a filling station. The procedure was that the oil products held in riveted tanks were first transferred by manual pumps into measures before being distributed among consumers based on their needs. After the minister of road gave the go-ahead for the operation of petroleum museums in Abadan, it was among the first priorities of the petroleum industry to become a museum.

Studies were conducted to that effect, while old items and documents were gathered from across the country, particularly from oil operation zones. Work started for the establishment of the gas station museum in Abadan in January 2016. The museum finally came on-stream in February 2017.

Covering 1,856 square meters, the museum is adjacent to a new gas station located opposite the Abadan City Hall. The museum has a main building and two secondary buildings.

Owing to its specific architecture, this hexagonal building is outstanding. It is nearly 90 years. Baghdadi brick has been used in its construction.

The building accommodates two small halls, each holding specific objects like barrels, measures, funnels, scales and 20-liter cans for carrying fuel, as well as photos of old stations and fuel distributors who loaded fuel on mules and camels to be transferred to distance areas.

Twelve old nozzles hang over the wall, showing their evolution. On the northwestern side of the museum stands another building that is 60 years old. It was once used for oil products distribution. At the entry into the building, it introduces kerosene-fueled lamps and some banknotes and stamps of the petroleum industry. Lampas, lanterns and various lamps used for heating or lighting purposes are on display there.

Two riveted tanks are placed in the yard located between buildings No. 1 and No. 2. When the filling station was established, kerosene was carried in 20-liter cans and distributed in measures ranging from 1 to 15 liters.

Another part of the museum is its exterior where devices used in the gas stations are arranged based on their year of manufacturing. The oldest one is a glass manual pump made in 1925. Most devices on display, numbering 12, are made in Britain, the US and Japan. There are also devices manufactured in Germany, Australia and India.

Abadan Artisan Museum

Abadan Artisan Museum is the second petroleum museum in Abadan. The Abadan vocational school was established in 1933. Now its building has been restored and put to public display. This building was used for petroleum industry education in Abadan. In 1977, the Department of Apprentices were high, buildings were outdated and the petroleum industry technology had made progress. Meantime, the number of educated persons and job seekers had increased. Upon an instruction of NIOC officials, continued education was no longer effective and hiring apprentices was banned.

With the victory of the Islamic Revolution, hiring apprentices was resumed in October 1980. But it was suspended as the imposed war began. After the end of the war and start of reconstruction, the school was focused upon as a symbol of the city of Abadan. But the education chain requiring training before recruitment was broken and it continued work for only 10 rounds. Finally, it became part of the petroleum industry museums in 2013. Five rooms, a yard and industrial plants are the major parts of the museum. The area that used to host learners is now used for a different purpose. A variety of elements are on display in the yard, including the steam boiler, remnants of the refinery model, industrial valves, old bicycle stands, barrel stands, painting bus and children playing court.

Darvazeh Dowlat

The fuel station No. 6, known as Darvazeh Dowlat filling station, was built in late 1930s by Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to distribute petroleum products like kerosene and gasoline. The mothballed building of this fuel station was considered for museum after the Directorate of Petroleum Museums started work. It was finally launched in July 2019. Each section of the museum is focused on a specific topic like the history of the Darvazeh Dowlat district, as well as the formation and activity of the fuel station. Furthermore, photos, documents, maps and films from this area, some objects used in distribution, transport and discharge of fuel as well as pumping devices are on display. The station was registered as national heritage in August 2014. It is noteworthy that up to 1951 when gas stations in Tehran numbered 10, their architecture was identical and in full compliance with Iran’s traditional architecture. The Darvazeh Dowlat pumping station is the only fuel station to have preserved its original structure up to now.

Kerosene Burners Museum

The "Kerosene Burners Museum" in Kerman is the fifth among museums run by the Directorate of Petroleum Museums and Documents. It was launched in March at the garden which used to house a British consulate. It is the first socio-industrial museum in Iran. Thanks to its unique architecture dating from the Zandieh dynasty, it puts on display various topics related to kerosene-fueled devices. This edifice was built at the order of Abolhassan Khan Mahallati, then governor of Kerman, in the final years of the Zandieh dynasty.

Nematollahi said the "Kerosene Burners Museum" was a special one because it deals with the social impact of oil on livelihood, and shows to what extent the petroleum industry has affected social life. Even when oil had not been discovered in Iran, kerosene burners were used by people as oil was supplied from other sources. In total, 400 kerosene-fueled devices are on display at the museum.

Courtesy of Iran Petroleum

News Code 316106

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