Domestic Capacities Can Help Limit Oil Plunge Impact

Domestic Capacities Can Help Limit Oil Plunge Impact  Domestic Capacities Can Help Limit Oil Plunge Impact

The government is taking new measures to lessen the effects of the continued plunge in oil prices, deputy oil minister said Wednesday, adding that Iran is unperturbed by the recent developments in the global oil market.

The oil ministry has launched a pilot project for registering the domestically manufactured oil products and equipment, ISNA quoted Emad Hosseini as saying. The project is included in a new directive issued by the oil minister, which calls for supporting domestic manufacturers in the face of restrictions in foreign trade.

"The project is aimed at restricting, and even banning, the import of those oil industry-related goods and machinery that can be produced in the country," Hosseini asserted. The oil ministry plans to provide a list of domestic suppliers of oil products and the equipments used in oil and gas projects. The pilot project is expected to be completed before the end of the current Iranian year (ends March 20), Hosseini said, noting that the ministry would then have a database on the basis of which "it can decide on banning the import of certain items."

Besides, the ministry plans to boost the energy sector's productivity with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency in production of ten highly consumed oil commodities. "This way we can save hundreds of millions of dollars every year by reducing our reliance on imports," according to Hosseini.  

Pointing to major oil and gas projects currently underway, the deputy oil minister said that it is vital for the government to manage the possible effects of oil plunge through accomplishing self-reliance in production of various commodities and equipment.       

According to the oil ministry official, the new directive also urges for more transparency in the way Iran holds its oil and gas tenders.

  Cryopumps Unveiled

Iran has achieved self-sufficiency in manufacturing of various types of pumps used in oil and gas industry after producing cryogenic pumps, managing director of Iran Industrial Pumps Group said.

Speaking at a ceremony held Wednesday in the town of Hashtgerd to unveil the cryogenic pumps made by his company, Faraj Pourvand said that cryopumps are used for adding propane and butane gases to the refinery processes in gas refineries. "Our cryopumps are as good as the European-made ones and better than the similar pumps made by Asian countries," IRNA quoted Pourvand as saying. He added that the IIP engineers spent three years on designing and making the cryopumps. "We can save more than 400 million dollars if we manufacture all the different pumps the country needs for oil, gas and petrochemical projects," he said.  

Cryopumps are vacuum pumps that trap gases and vapors by condensing them on a cold surface. They are only effective on some gases, depending on the freezing and boiling points of the gas relative to the cryopump’s temperature.  

“Cryopumps stay afloat 40 meters deep in LPG (liquid petroleum gas) storage tanks in South Pars gas field,” Pourvand noted, adding that these pumps can function inside liquid propane and butane even at extremely low temperatures, “and that’s why they are produced through a complicated design process.” He said that Iran is now one of the only four countries, including the US, Germany and Japan, who own the technology for making cryopumps. "The country needs at least 96 cryopumps for oil and gas projects," he further noted, adding that so far only 36 such pumps have been manufactured. Pourvand then called on the government to ban the import of cryopumps to make it economical for his company to continue producing them. "Currently, we have to get loans with high interest and are even paying high duties for importing the parts we need for making the cryopumps," Pourvand complained.   

The IIP aims to send its cryopumps to Assalouyeh for use in the South Pars Phases 17 and 18. The company has signed contracts for supplying a wide range of industrial pumps for South Pars projects.