While doing research, Doublethink analysts flagged an irregularity in the data. Looking at Iran’s Ministry of Industry and Mines Top 500 indexes for the past three years, Doublethink discovered that a significant number of businesses had disappeared from the most current list. Our analysts checked the companies’ financial records and scoured Iranian news reports for signs that these companies were in financial trouble, but in most cases records showed these companies to be far from being insolvent. In fact, most of these disappeared companies were still active and producing healthy profits.
We conducted several interviews with oil industry insiders, and we have concluded that Iran’s government is deliberately obscuring these companies’ public profile. We believe that the main reason for this is to evade sanctions.
- Nine companies on the list are linked to Persian Gulf Petroleum Investment Company (PGPIC), which the U.S. Treasury recently sanctioned due to its business ties to Khatam al-Anbia and the IRGC.
- Ten companies on the list had beneficial ownership or board member links to bonyads.
- One company, Pardis Petrochemical, has links to Muller Financial Limited, a Swiss company mentioned in the Panama Papers.
- Four companies on the list reported substantial business activity abroad, including ownership links to suspected front companies.
- Three companies on the list appeared to have concealed true ownership via fraudulent boards and/or falsified financial records.
Here’s a complete list of the 24 disappeared oil companies.
- Tehran Oil Refining Company: Fraudulent board suspected
- Ahdaf Investment Company: Linked to Dubai-owned Bonyad Taavon Sepah company
- Pars Petrochemical Company.: Bonyad-owned, PGPIC
- Mobin Petrochemical Company: Fraudulent board suspected
- Shiraz Oil Refining Company: Bonyad-owned
- Pardis Petrochemical Company: Panama Papers link via shareholder, PGPIC
- Fajr Petrochemical Company: PGPIC
- Kharg Petrochemical Company: Top 10 Exporter, no financial records for past 3 years
- Petrochemical Industries Investment Company: Possible BTS link, PGPIC. Financials linked to UAE, Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, United Kingdom
- Petrochemiran: Bonyad-owned
- North Drilling Company: SDN List, Bonyad-owned
- Petrochemical Industries Investment Company: Bonyad-owned
- Persia Oil & Gas Industry Development: Bonyad-owned
- Esfahan Petrochemical Company: Bonyad-owned
- Sahand Naft Iran: Missing financial records
- Kharazmi Bandar Imam Company: PGPIC
- Faravaresh Bandar Imam Company: PGPIC
- Mapna Drilling Noor Kish Company: Bonyad-owned
- Besparan Bandar Imam Petrochemical Company: PGPIC
- Jey Porner Pars Company: Missing financial records, foreign founder (Austria)
- Takhte Jamshid Petrochemical Company: PGPIC
- Khuzestan Petrochemical Company: Fraudulent financial reports suspected, PGPIC
- Persian Gulf Construction Petrochemical Industries Investment: Board has links to bonyads, financial links to China
- Nogam Oil & Gas Company: Dissolved
Here is a Doublethink excel sheet with more details pertaining to the above companies, including ticker, earnings, shareholder and board information where available.