The Business Year (TBY) talks to Mohammad Iravani, CEO and Chairman of Dana Energy

Dana Energy was created 16 years ago and is now a leading player in the energy sector. How do you assess the rapid growth of the company?

Dana Energy completely belongs to the private sector. It currently works in three segments; Exploration & Production, Oilfield Services and Energy Trading. It was an advantage to take part in the South Pars project, developing four drilling phases. Four phases 15, 16, 17B, and 18B. We have drilled forty-four wells. It is a remarkable success for the private sector to finish this major project. For the new IPC contracts, the Ministry of Petroleum is trying to incorporate foreign partners. In this regard, we are in negotiations with several international companies and will continue approaching other companies to expand negotiations. Between the outstanding number of companies that work in this sector, it is remarkable that Dana Energy is a completely private company. This is our main advantage and creates trust for our partners.

The Ministry of Petroleum announced that $200 billion is needed for the upstream industry. What will be the role of Dana Energy in this plan?

A part of this $200 billion will come from the IPC contracts. These agreements are very positive for Iranian companies because they allow us to work in partnership with foreign companies and this means growth for the country. In recent years, Iranian companies in the upstream sector were developing and now there are many companies active in different parts of seismic, drilling and drilling services. Part of our contribution to the development of the upstream industry depended on the EPC agreements we signed with oil companies. In this sense, our management stability and our large market share on oilfield services give us advantage to highly contribute to these $200 billion.

How do you assess the importance of cooperating with European companies to ensure the newest technology for your projects?

During sanctions, we had some problems on the technological side. We expect the foreign companies to help us to develop our technology, as this is one of the preconditions of the IPC contracts. For example, our recovery factor for oil reservoirs is 10%-25%, whereas in Norway it is more than 60%, so we especially need the technology for projects related to brown oil fields. We expect this cooperation to be a great way for them to show us a road map to the technologies that we need. This kind of agreement is positive for both companies while simultaneously benefiting the client. On the other hand, Dana Energy is also interested in opening new lines of business for renewable energy, targeting wind farms. We are negotiating JV projects with some European countries for projects within Iran with a target of two 200 MW, as well as supplying the turbines needed.

What kind of projects are you looking to develop abroad?

Our main focus is our Petroleum Products Trading. This year we are focusing on Asia, specifically China and Singapore, but also the Middle East, including the UAE and Oman, where we have opened a branch. We also have possibilities to trade with CIS countries such as Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Moreover, a market study of opportunities in Africa for our oilfield services is already underway to develop our business there.

What are your expectations for this year?

We passed through hard years before the sanctions were lifted, but now we are in the post-sanction period so step by step the economy of the country is going to be more stable. Our relationship with the banks and other financial institutions from foreign countries are also getting much better. Iran has also taken a very big step forward with the election of the new parliament, which will help with the stabilization of the business. In the upcoming months, we will try to strengthen our relationships with foreign companies. Iran’s cost per barrel is very low so the foreign investors are interested in coming here. Because of this reason, our main priority is to focus on the Iranian market. Outside our borders we plan to focus on nearby countries that could use our services. Our trade segment is focusing on the Asian markets. For foreign E&P, we are more interested in Europe, and we are currently studying the market.