For more than 26 years, Tehran Energy Consultants (TEC) has been a leading consultancy, providing services to most of the biggest players in the upstream oil and gas engineering sector across the Iranian oil and gas industry.
Founded in 1991, the company’s main focus was to provide technical advice and assistance across the oil and gas space, covering exploration, exploitation, optimal reservoir development and management all while utilising state-of-the-art technologies.
For Dr Abolfazl Ghaemi, Founder and MD of TEC, the company was born out a desire to transform the oil and gas upstream sector in 1991, particularly an over reliance on foreign expertise.
“I come from a robust background in petroleum engineering, and so I feel I have a solid grasp of the Iranian oil and gas industry space,” he says. “There was certainly a substantial reliance on international oil consultancy, especially if there was a certain degree of technical expertise that was required. As an Iranian petroleum engineer, this was not acceptable to me. Not one bit.”
And so, TEC was established to localise the consultancy across the sector and to reduce that significant reliance on foreign help as much as possible.
“It’s main duty when established some 26 years ago was to develop static and dynamic models for the reservoirs and to forecast their production under different development scenarios and by conducting economic evaluations, to determine the optimal development scheme for the subject reservoir or field,” he says.
“The outcome of our studies serves as guideline for our clients in optimal drilling development and production of its oil and gas fields. TEC services are now extended to supervision of field drilling development activities as well.”
TEC will forever hold the title of being the first of its kind in the country, the first consultancy that is geared towards the oil and gas engineering market. Ghaemi feels that with his own background, that has seen significant experience both locally and internationally in engineering, coupled with more than 26 years building and developing partnerships with key customers, TEC can stand tall against any new entrants into the market.
As the starter of upstream consultancy in the oil and gas private sector of the country and its commitment for rendering technical services of international quality, if not beyond that, TEC is known for its commitment to professional ethics with independency and integrity.
“The TEC ambition is to retain its good reputation and brand by offering world class services and aligning itself with the forefront of the technical knowledge and services in the context of its scope and mission.”
“That means maintaining a leading role in rendering state of the art engineering consultancy services in domestic oil and gas upstream and midstream market and extending it to the international arena with emphasis on Middle East market,” he says.
Naturally, working as a consultancy, partners, clients, and alliances play a crucial role not only in the success garnered over the last two decades, but they will also continue to play a key role in the future growth and success of TEC.
TEC has worked with some of the biggest companies in the world, including Total, Shell, BHP and Maersk to name a few.
Ghaemi stresses that the portfolio of work that the company can boast was only made possible through its approach to client relationships.
“They are relationships that we build around the commitment to quality and to the reliability of the services we provide,” he says.
As a consultancy, one of the key attributes that help enable this quality is rendering reliable services with a good level of agility and being able to respond to what the clients want without sacrificing the quality of our services.
“While keeping our independency and integrity we try in every way we can to listen to what the clients are saying and what they want without prejudice,” says Ghaemi.
“This collaborative approach allows us to be in the best possible position, not only in terms of our growth and success, but also from a service level that we are providing and we find it is right.”
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Operating in a sector that is extremely centred on technology and technological processes presents a high degree of challenge, not only for TEC but the clients that it works with.
After all, prior to Ghaemi’s founding of TEC, the Iranian oil and gas upstream studies sector relied heavily on international expertise in order to navigate the ever-changing challenges that technology innovation brought with it.
“New technologies for increasing the recovery factor is the main challenge not only in tight carbonate and rather heavy oil reservoirs but also in our numerous fractured oil reservoirs as well ,” he says.
“The other main challenge is financing of the development of fields and reservoirs in the context of Iranian Petroleum Contracts (IPC) which is known as the fourth generation of the Buyback Service Contracts. Though as of this date, the Iranian oil industry has attracted billions of dollars for investment in Iranian oil and gas fields, and petrochemicals, under the prevalent international situation, financing of the projects appears to remain as an important challenge for the years to come.”
The recovery element is arguably the core value in the oil and gas sector and Ghaemi is fully alert of this. Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery methods (EOR and EGR) such as, thermal methods, miscible injection and chemical flooding are but a few examples that he points to as crucial technology processes in the current industry, processes that the company and a lot of the sector does not have hands on experience with, as it has not yet been - implemented within the country.
To this end, TEC has continuously explored ways in which it can expand and enhance its services by engaging internationally renowned partners which it has worked with across different sectors and working with these partners to bring new experience and new capabilities into its already diverse portfolio.
“These are technologies that are transforming the industry and so we must partner with the right people in order to expand our capabilities,” says Ghaemi. “We often work collaboratively with international partners who are active in oil and gas upstream consultancies which allow us to align that expertise with our services”.
As for TEC’s short and mid-range plans Ghaemi says that “Our motto from the outset has been to strive for quality and excellence. As ever, we will remain loyal to this motto and thus keep our excellence both technically and morally and doing so keep on with continuous and day-to- day progress of the company.”