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Dana bids for Sepehr and Jufair

Private player signs MoU with NIOC and seeks operatorship of proposed joint development

Iran’s Dana Energy has launched itself as Iran’s most ambitious private upstream developer by bidding for the operatorship of the proposed joint development of the Sepehr and Jufair oilfields.

Dana Energy managing director executive Mostafa Khoee this week signed a memorandum of understanding for the project with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

Dana already has minority partnerships with Austria’s OMV, DNO of Norway, and Wintershall of Germany at several proposed oil projects.

The Sepehr and Jufair development is also being sought by the local Pasargad Energy and Ghadir Investment Group, which signed MoUs in the summer but would be acting as minority shareholders in any joint ventures with foreign players.

Sepehr is said to have proven crude reserves of 300 million barrels and its development is costed at $500 million to $600 million.

Details on Jufair, where the local Oil Industries Engineering & Construction (OIEC) signed an MoU in May for a separate development plan, are not available. Both fields extend into Iraq and have been listed for priority development.

Planned output at Jufair is set at about 30,000 barrels per day, with production at Sepehr expected to be lower at 20,000 to 25,000 bpd.

Sepehr and Jufair will be developed jointly. There is aleady some production at Jufair estimated at about 2000 bpd.

Dana, along with DNO, last month submitted a master development plan for the Changuleh oilfield under a $1.5 billion plan to produce 60,000 bpd.

Dana is one of the few private Iranian companies on NIOC’s list of 17 local players qualified as potential joint venture partners for international players.

Under plans set out by NIOC, all foreign upstream developers will have to have at least one Iranian partner, with the foreign partner expected to be the operator in most cases because of limited Iranian finance and expertise.

France’s Total earlier this year signed a $2 billion contract for the Phase 11 development of South Pars, holding a controlling 50.1% stake in a consortium that includes China National petroleum Corporation and Iran’s Petropars.

Khoee told Upstream that talks are now being held with potential foreign minority partners for the Sepehr-Jufair development.

He would not name the possible foreign oil companies and/or finance houses. “We are carrying out a technical study over six months and will submit our development plan to NIOC by March next year,” he said.

Khoee is an NIOC veteran, who ran state-owned PetroIran Development Company (Pedco) earlier this century at the Salman offshore field and elsewhere.

Dana is owned by the Iravani family, but could eventually seek a Tehran Stock Exchange listing, according to sources.