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Iran, no longer relying on US, first OPEC nation to produce, export oil processing catalysts: Manufacturer

Iran has become the first member state of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that can produce and export sophisticated catalysts used in oil and gas processing.

An Iranian manufacturer said on Tuesday that the country was no longer in need of importing oil processing catalysts from countries like the United States, adding that Iranian companies had mastered the technology needed for producing at least 44 types of catalysts that are frequently used across the industry.

“Iran is the first OPEC county and one of the few in the world which has broken up… the monopoly of major catalyst-manufacturing companies of the world,” said Abdolreza Hamidi, who chairs the association of Iranian catalyst producers.

Iran has been importing various types of catalysts it needs for its petroleum industry from Western countries with American company Honeywell UOP being a main supplier for years. 

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That comes as Washington has imposed a series of tough sanctions on Iran’s oil and gas industry since November last year, making it difficult for Iranian developers and contractors to access advanced devices needed to increase production or to expand activities in the country’s petrochemical sector.  

Hamidi said Iranian companies had managed to break up the monopoly of 14 global companies that produce catalysts used in the oil and gas industry.

He said Iran had started supply of such catalysts to customers in countries like Iraq, Armenia, Pakistan, Syria, Kazakhstan and others.

Experts believe American sanctions on Iran’s direct sale of crude have backfired in certain ways as they have led to a boom in manufacturing and non-oil trade in the country despite their impact on government finances.

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