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EghtesadOnline: The Oil Ministry will support startups and knowledge-based firms in related industries, the Oil Minister said on the weekend.

Visiting the construction site of a new technology park in Shahr-e Rey in south Tehran, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said: “The Oil Ministry wants to create opportunities for startups and knowledge-based companies so that they can help improve different sectors of the oil industry,” the Oil Ministry news agency Shana reported.

“According to the programs, by the end of the current year (March 2020), the site will be ready for companies interested to work in this field,” he said.

Iran’s oil industry is facing obstacles from last year when the US unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, signed between Iran and six world powers, and re-imposed economic sanctions, including on the oil, tech, banking and transport sectors, according to Financial Tribune.

Draconian sanctions have made it impossible for international companies to cooperate with Iran. As a result, local based firms and startups have been emerging to help address the oil industry challenges.

Knowledge-based companies and startups are expected to propose creative ideas with a focus on reducing production costs and boosting productivity in the key industry. The ministry’s Research and Technology Department is tasked with facilitating their activity. 



Sale and Supply Security

Regarding oil exports under the sanctions’ regime, Zanganeh said: “Selling oil is not easy. But we will never stop.”

Referring to drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais last Saturdy, he said: “This is a short-term issue and will have short-term impact that will involve all the world.”

The attacks cut Saudi oil production by almost a half, curtailing production by 5.7 million barrels a day.  

“The United States is concerned with supply security – something Iran had raised long ago. We believe for ensuring supply security, oil must not be used as a weapon,” the minister was quoted as saying.

He went on to say that “The US has long been trying to replace Iran’s oil with Saudi supplies and tap into its shale reserves, which could be one of the reasons for imposing restrictions on Iranian oil.” 



South Pars Project 

Zanganeh further said Iran’s gas recovery has exceeded that of Qatar in the South Pars joint gas field off the Persian Gulf.

“Iran’s gas extraction from the field has been ahead of Qatar for a while now and is growing.”

Gas output capacity has reached 620 million cubic meters per day while Qatar’s daily recovery stands at 600 mcm, he said.

Production growth from the giant field will continue and efforts have been made to raise production capacity to 750 mcm per day.

The world's largest gas field, SP covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, 3,700 square kilometers of which, called South Pars, is in Iran’s territorial waters. The remaining 6,000, known as North Dome, is in Qatari waters.

Iran is developing the mega gas project in 24 phases. Most of the phases are fully operational.

More than $72 billion has been invested in the giant energy venture since work started. Investments are expected to rise to $87 billion.

The field is estimated to contain a significant amount of natural gas, accounting for about 8% of the world’s reserves and approximately 18 billion barrels of condensate.


Iran Startups knowledge-based firms Oil Ministry Support