Iran Petroleum Museum; Introduction and Goals

Saturday, December 24, 2016Iran Petroleum Museum; Introduction and Goals

Today, there are nearly 200 museums in the world that exhibit oil and gas machinery and relics. Iran, however, with over a century of history in the industry, began to consider establishment of petroleum museums no sooner than 2014.  Today, countries with a much shorter history in the industry have created their own oil museums.

On Sunday, January 12, 2014, Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh appointed his public relations deputy, Akbar Nematollahi, as head of a task force to conduct studies on setting up oil industry museums in Iran. Immediately, Nematollahi mustered a team of outstanding petroleum exports and veterans to carry out related appraisal studies and scan similar projects in the world under a project dubbed as "Formation of Iran's Oil Industry Museums."

The role and status of the petroleum industry in Iran's political, social, economic and even technological developments, is one reason that makes establishment of oil museums necessary in order to collect and preserve donated materials and relics of the industry for future generations.

Pursuant to Mr. Zangeneh's instruction, Iranian Ministry of Petroleum has considered formation of oil museums in 4 Iranian cities with the richest history in the industry. Furthermore, the ministry is also working on more museums in other parts of the country as well. Here are the four cities:

Oil Museum, Masjid Soleyman: Located in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, the city is the birthplace of oil industry in Iran and is considered as one of the oldest oil recovery sites in the world. Masjed Soleyman is planned to become one of the province's tourist attractions and hubs in the near future.

Museum of Oil and Sacred Defense, Abadan: So far five places have been earmarked for development of museums in Abadan, Khuzestan Province; the places are: Abadan Refinery, Building No. 1; Abadan Gas Station, which is Iran's first gas station; Abadan Technical School, which is the city's first school for oil industry inductees in Iran; Abadan Waterfront No. 1 to 11, where Ekvan and Sulfur cranes are being kept; and formality residences including three buildings in Abadan's Barim neighborhood.

Oil Museum, Kermahshah: The structure is to be erected at Tin Factory of Kermanshah Refinery. Given the factory's long history--it has been in place for over a century— and its role in distribution of petroleum products throughout the country in the past several decades, the museum is envisaged to exhibit a rich collection of items belonging to various periods of the factory's operation. Most of the showcased items will be placed in the museum with focus on the industry in Iran's western regions.

Museum of Oil Industry Technology, Tehran: The establishment will introduce the nature and significance of oil, gas and petrochemical industries in all walks of human life from old times to the present. The museum primarily focuses on the technologies used in different eras for development of the industry.

Founders of Iran Oil Museums hope their efforts to garner oil industry relics, materials and machinery will introduce the industry to the people and highlight its role in their everyday lives throughout history.

The Tehran Bureau of Oil Industry Museums and Archives has two major sections:

The Treasury of Relics

Preservation of oil industry relics is the first reason they are collected. Therefore, serious and binding standards have been put in place to ensure their safety and health.


The International Council of Museums (ICOM) defines a museum as follows:

"A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment."

The treasury of Iran's oil industry relics, works, machinery and documents belong to various historical eras from the past up to the present time. Among the treasured items are belongings of outstanding oil industry personages and items that are believed to have changed the industry in Iran. All the treasured items are of magnificent historical, artistic and technical greatness.

The items have been either spotted by museum experts or were donated by oil industry staff to the 4 major oil companies of Iran over the course of decades.


The archives section of Iran's Oil Industry Museum identifies, gathers, categorizes, organizes, retrieves, repairs, preserves and keeps oil industry documents in a bid to provide a priceless resource for the industry's researchers and everyone interested in them.

The section houses a collection of 150,000 pieces of documents on historical, social, economic, political, geographic and technical subjects and includes geographic maps, refinery plans, pamphlets, seismographic analyses, official minutes, pictures, slides, negatives, films, screenplays, etc.

Furthermore, stamps, technical maps and financial documents of oil industry projects are also included in the archives. Old books, journals, news reports, and artworks are among the collected items as well.

In order to the preserve the items from any kinds of damage, a unit comprising experts in repairing all sorts of audio and visual documents is designated to repair the item when necessary.

Officials from the archives section of the museum are restlessly in talks with heads of different departments of the 4 major oil and gas companies of the country to get more documents to add to the section's riches.