1 February 2022 - 14:26
  • News Code: 452757
Domestic Manufacturing Largely Supported

TEHRAN (Shana) -- Iran’s petroleum industry, while having an important and strategic position among the country’s industries, has high ability to take advantage of innovative opportunities to create value in its chain of activities. In this regard, strengthening the flow of knowledge-based economy and meeting the technological needs of industry through innovation capacity and relying on domestic potential are among top policies of the Petroleum Ministry in the current administration.

Accordingly, on the sidelines of an exhibition of Iranian domestic manufacturing in Tehran, we interviewed a number of managers and officials at science and technology parks and universities about the potential of this sector in the technological development of Iran’s petroleum industry.

Vahid-Reza Zeidifar, deputy minister of petroleum for engineering, research and technology, touched on the extensive presence of knowledge-based companies at the exhibition, saying: “Following the [1979 Islamic] Revolution in Iran, industrial and research companies in the country have grown and flourished, which is a matter of pride.”

He referred to support offered by the Office of Vice President for Science and Technology, as well as the Office of Deputy Minister of Petroleum for Engineering, Research and Technology for industrial and research companies involved in the petroleum industry, expressing hope that more would be seen in the future.

He said: “The policy of the 13th administration is to support production and remove barriers to production. These policies have also been communicated by the President to all its ministers and deputies, and the Minister of Petroleum has been asked to support these policies in any way so that we can reduce dependencies and minimize foreign purchases in order to domestically manufacture necessary goods for the oil industry.”

Less Dependence

Zeidifar said: “At present, due to the activities carried out and the support provided to the Petroleum Ministry, the dependence of the oil industry on foreign companies has reached less than 50%.” 

Noting that the Office of Deputy Minister of Petroleum for Engineering, Research and Technology had been instructed by the Minister of Petroleum to work in favor of minimizing foreign purchase by supporting domestic manufacturing, he said this Office would do its best to put an end to dependence on foreign companies and make maximum use of domestic manufacturing.

He referred to establishment of science and technology parks in the petroleum industry, saying: “Currently, a favorable environment has been created for the use of the technological potential of domestic companies related to the oil industry in the country, and the Petroleum Ministry will use that platform. In this regard, even proper budgets have been considered by the parliament for this year and next year, and the Petroleum Ministry is making its utmost efforts to absorb these budgets in line with the existing needs.”

Technology-Based Deals

Zeidifar went on to discuss the Petroleum Ministry’s agreements signed with universities, adding: “In the past, the Petroleum Ministry had concluded field-based contracts with some domestic universities, but now, according to the new approach of the Petroleum Ministry and the agreement of the President, these contracts will be turned into technology-based ones in order to achieve better results.”

He added: “We are currently holding meetings with stakeholders in this sector to convert the contracts into technology-oriented ones, while the Office of Deputy Minister of Petroleum for Engineering, Research and Technology is also trying to amend these contracts.”

Zeidifar also referred to the potential of science park of the Petroleum Ministry, saying: “There is favorable ground provided by this park for local companies linked with the petroleum industry. Furthermore, the Petroleum Ministry is also seeking to strengthen the internal construction and strengthen the internal strength of manufacturers and technology and knowledge-based companies, considering the approach.”

He said a memorandum of understanding had been recently signed by the Petroleum Ministry and the Office of Vice President for Science and Technology, adding: “This memorandum has been focused on using the science and technology park and strengthening it so that companies could make the most of this park.” 

Foreign Monopoly Broken

Davoud Tafazoli, deputy head of the Khorasan Science and Technology Park, said that the science parks were affiliated with the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.

“Khorasan Science and Technology Park is the first specialized oil and gas development center in the country that has received its final license from the Ministry of Science. At present, there are 350 companies operating in this park, of which 70 companies are active in the field of oil, gas and petrochemical equipment,” he said. “Science and technology parks are government complexes aimed at supporting knowledge-based and technology companies. Of the 350 companies in Khorasan Science and Technology Park, 110 are knowledge-based companies.”

Tafazoli said over 6,000 people are employed in Khorasan Science and Technology Park companies, more than 50% of whom are related to the oil industry.  

Tafazoli highlighted the capability of companies related to the oil industry in this science and technology park in the downstream sector of the oil industry, as well as refinery control systems and added: “In the fixed equipment manufacturing section of industrial valves and in the rotary equipment section, high-speed and high-pressure pumps have been manufactured by a number of knowledge-based companies in this park. In addition, all petrochemicals and refineries in the country have used the products of technology and knowledge-based companies in this park, and this equipment has been installed there.”

Regarding the capabilities of companies in the Khorasan science park, he said: “In the field of high-speed pumps and compressors, these companies have achieved considerable capability, so that in the past, the production of these goods was the monopoly of an American company, but now it has been produced in Khorasan Science and Technology Park for several years. On the other hand, the control systems of the refineries, which were monopolized by Siemens, were taken out of monopoly due to the activities carried out by a company in the Science and Technology Park.”

He stated that in the section related to oil and gas in the specialized councils of Khorasan Science and Technology Park, employers in the field of oil and gas are members of this working group, adding: “With this approach, companies affiliated with the Khorasan Science and Technology Park are face to face with their customers and the employer is responsible for all confirmations.”

Tafazoli also stated that more than 80% of companies in this park are on the Petroleum Ministry’s vendor list. He pointed out: “Last calendar year, Khorasan Science and Technology Park companies’ sales were IRR 16,000 billion, of which IRR 5,000 billion were in the field of oil and gas.”

He also referred to an agreement signed with National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), saying: “Currently we have two manufacturing projects related to control systems and one gas detector agreement with NIGC.”

“Khorasan Science & Technology Park was established almost 19 years ago. It has been working in a specialized manner in the oil and gas sector for the last 11 years,” he said.

Tafazoli said: “Khorasan Science and Technology Park has formed a network with other science and technology parks in the country that are located in this area and is in constant contact with them.”

Technology Development

Mehran Aqakhani, head of Khuzestan Science and Technology Park Institutes, said: “The park was established in Khuzestan in 2009 due to the need of new technologies in the industries based in Khuzestan. The main part of Khuzestan province's industries is oil and gas and petrochemicals, and we have done a lot of activities in this field, such as establishing an oil and gas technology growth center in cooperation with the Petroleum University of Technology. On the other hand, we established a consortium of oil and gas companies, bringing together specialized companies in the field of oil and gas.”

He added: “287 companies operate in Khuzestan Science and Technology Park, 18% of which are active in the field of oil, gas and petrochemical industry in Khuzestan Science and Technology Park.”

Aqakhani said companies related to the oil industry in Khuzestan Science and Technology Park enjoy high capacity, adding: “During these years, we have done significant activities in the petroleum industry, including National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) for drilling additives, logging system and setting up management systems in laboratories. We have signed a contract with the Directorate of Exploration to use a new geological method, and we are cooperating with Chamran University in this regard.”

Regarding the new method, he explained: “This is a geochemical method being implemented for oil exploration in Khuzestan. It removes up to 90% of error rate in estimating reservoir identification.”

He went on to explain about cooperation with the Maroun Petrochemical Plant, saying: “We have worked a lot in well completion fluids, drilling and directional drilling fluids, oil and gas well monitoring, rotary equipment, downhole oil and gas equipment and data transmission equipment, and we have a technological product or we are developing, which we need support.”

He said that the Khuzestan park companies were tasked with developing technology, adding: “The companies affiliated with the Khuzestan park are domestically manufacturing technology. They have also commercialized some technologies to be used in the oil and gas industry.”

Gas Leakage Detection Drone

Amir-Hossein Azimi of Sharif University of Technology said that more than 400 persons were working with the Technology Center of the university, mainly in projects related to the petroleum industry. He said these companies were involved with metallurgy, mechanical, electrical and petroleum engineering.

“At this center, there is potential for any kind of activity by engineers. We are one of these groups. We are active in the aerospace and fluids sector,” he said.

Touching on the manufacturing of a gas leakage detection drone, he said: “Given our potential, we have been able to make this device for the first time in the country. This device has many advantages compared with manpower, including high speed of action compared with operator.”

“The device is used to detect methane, and is highly sensitive. It can detect methane up to 50 meters high,” he said.

He pointed to other advantages of using the drone and added: “The drone does not give GPS points for routes, but it contains the information on the map and provides the information to the person by mapping it.”

He stated that the drone is currently operating in Qazvin Province Gas Company, adding: "This drone has the ability to go above flares and receive information and provide it to us."

According to Azimi, one of the South Pars gas refineries has asked to use the drone.

Cooperation with Canada University

Mohammad Karimi, head of industrial communications and entrepreneurship at Khajeh-Nasir University of Technology, said that the university had signed IRR 20 billion worth of agreements with the petroleum industry.

“It is the first university of technology to have cooperated with the Petroleum Ministry. It has agreements under way with NIGC, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Iran Gas Transmission Company (IGTC), Iran Offshore Oil Company (IOOC), South Pars Gas Complex (SPGC) and Shazand Petrochemical Co.,” he said.

Referring to the university’s activities, he said: “GIS at Iranian gas transmission lines, descaling of gas pipelines, intelligent pigging of gas transmission lines and determination of pipe thickness and pipe deposition thickness for NIGC has been done by the university. Meanwhile, some time ago, we signed a contract with SPGC under the title of Process Optimization.”

He added: "In order to concentrate on activities related to the oil industry in this university, with the consent of the dean of the university, we have established the first oil industry productivity research institute."

He described the activities of the research institute and added: "The research institute is currently operating and we have concentrated on all the activities that take place at university in the form of mechanical, electrical, civil, surveying and materials engineering."

Regarding cooperation with IOOC, he said: “In this regard, with the cooperation of the Offshore Oil Company, for the first time in the country, we have entered the production of products that need to be re-engineered and redefined. This is a very important step towards further cooperation between Khajeh Nasir University and the oil industry.”

He continued: "Most of the needs raised by the oil industry are provided in the form of products, so our new cooperation is to produce products that the Petroleum Ministry is pursuing."

He said: “Khajeh Nasir University used to traditionally cooperate with the Petroleum Ministry, but now these methods are not responsive, so it is necessary to expand this cooperation in order to promote product-oriented needs and what the oil industry needs.”

Pigging Robot

Karimi also touched on the sanctions targeting the petroleum industry, saying: “According to the activities carried out at Khajeh Nasir University, we seek to maintain and strengthen the university's position in the oil industry, while our goal is to shift graduate theses and projects related to the oil industry to technological production and product manufacturing.”

He further referred to the achievement of Khajeh Nasir University on the issue of commercialization of some technologies in the oil industry and added: "Although we are at the beginning of the way in the field of technology commercialization, in this regard, an intelligent robot has been designed in Khajeh Nasir University for smart pigging."

He expressed hope that the products manufactured for the Petroleum Ministry would reach the phase of implementation and technology transfer.

He stated that the university has strong relations with the world's major universities and major oil companies and interacts with them whenever necessary: "We have very good interactions with world-class universities in the field of oil industry and in the field of technology transfer." We have no problem with world-class universities.

He added: "Currently, we are fully cooperating with one of the Canadian universities in the field of oil industry, so that in the field of oil exploration, our colleagues at the Department of Electronics are working on this issue in the control department."

Mahnaz Mohammad-Qoli

Courtesy of Iran Petroleum

News Code 452757

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