Valve World Middle East Conference 2017

Valve World Middle East Conference 2017 a Resounding Success!

Set against a background of snow on the mountains and clear blue skies, Valve World’s First Middle East Networking Conference held in Tehran, Iran, February 20–21st proved to be a great success!

The two-day event was sponsored by FluoroSeal Specialty Valves, IMI Critical Engineering, Metso, and Rotork, and  had Frost & Sullivan as Knowledge Supporters.  It was primarily a conference and networking event but also contained a small expo area where thirty-one companies, primarily from outside Iran, came to share their knowledge, experience and technologies with Iranian end-users and manufacturers.

The combination of a conference (on topics which had been chosen in advance by an International Advisory Committee and which were of interest to the Iranian oil & gas market situation) and a networking event proved to be an absolute winner. Topics covered in formal presentation sessions were the latest technologies in: Safety valves, Maintenance & troubleshooting, Valve actuators & networks, Control valves, Testing, inspection & monitoring, Severe service & sealing, and Materials, Castings & Forgings.

In addition there were more informal workshop sessions promoting a more discussional flavor on: Coatings & claddings; Macroeconomic perspectives on the possibilities of doing business in the Middle East both now and in the future, and Standards & requirements, as well as a Speed dating session where companies were able to present their latest wares and technologies to potential customers. Additionally, there were a number of plenary lectures from high-ranking Iranian oil & gas government officials, as well as those experienced in setting up business relations between companies inside and outside Iran. The formula proved to be a good one as demonstrated by the record breaking number of 475 official delegates –the majority of which came from state- and privately-owned end-user organizations.

Simultaneous translation of the sessions and workshops into English/Farsi
There was simultaneous translation of the sessions and workshops into English/Farsi.

That the event would prove to be very successful from the start was not surprising, however. Since sanctions were lifted on doing business with Iran on January 16th, 2016, Iran has become ‘hot’ with much of the world keen to look into the economic prospects of doing business there again. This is certainly true of the valve industry – just one of the myriad of industries vying for opportunities in this stable country of eight million inhabitants. Iran has the fourth largest oil reserves in the world, estimated to be of the order of 150 billion barrels. This is approximately 10% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves.

Even more impressive, the country’s proven natural gas reserves exceed 30 trillion cubic meters. This is 15.8% of the world’s total reserves – the second largest of any country with the exception of Russia. As such, even with present low prices for fossil fuels, Iran and Iranians remain extremely interesting prospects to do business with. It is against this backdrop that so many business visitors have visited Iran last year. Suddenly Iran is very much a place to be not only because of the potential of its reserves but also because of its desire to maintain, refurbish, and expand its oil & gas industry. Likewise the best of Iranian companies want to start to investigate the prospects to export again. As such, the idea of knowledge exchange is very much on people’s minds.

Highly qualified and eager delegates
Delegates were generally very highly qualified and eager
to learn about the new technologies available for the oil & gas industries.

It is with these thoughts that this Valve World Middle East conference was put together – to arrange a transfer of technologies and experience between those working in the oil & gas industry inside Iran with those from abroad. Iranian end-users from both state- and privately- owned oil & gas companies, EPCs, and research organizations came along to share the challenges that they face with regard to working with valves and actuators on a daily basis for both now and in the future. Similarly, Iranian manufacturers also came along to showcase their wares and competencies. From outside Iran, thirty-one key manufactures and suppliers are there to put forward some of their latest products and technologies aimed at providing a solution to many of the valve challenges faced in the oil & gas industry today and tomorrow.

A packed auditorium of participants
A packed auditorium of participants during the plenary lecture session,
all eager to share knowledge and experience and delve into the latest valve technologies available.

Even more than being just a technical conference, however, the event could be seen in the broader context of helping to open up business in Iran and also the whole of the Middle East. It took a lot of hard work to put together but it will be certainly remembered as a networking event offering those who participated the chance to meet up and discuss ideas with like-minded people across country borders and exchange knowledge and experiences. At Valve World It will be looked upon as a building block to setting up and strengthening business relationships across the region for a bright future.

The Valve World Middle East Conference & Expo drew around 475 official delegates, the majority of which came from state and privately-owned end-user organizations.

According to Virein Kumar Yadlapalli from Frost & Sullivan, Iran has a diverse manufacturing landscape but has not always been able to invest in up-to-date technology due to sanctions.

For Valve World, Virein Kumar Yadlapalli from Frost & Sullivan outlines the market for valves in the Middle East market and hints at future developments.
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