Ehsan Bayat
39

Executive Vice President, Business Development, New Dawn Energy LLC, Houston
3 FortyUnder40 Bayat, Ehsan

Ehsan Bayat did not begin his career in oil and gas, but he had a mentor waiting for him. After a five-year career dedicated to assisting autistic children, he asked his father, who was vice president of a Houston-based oil company at the time, if he thought it would be possible for his son to work in the oil and gas industry.

“He said that I could work with him, and he would personally train me in all aspects of the industry, which he did beyond anyone’s expectations,” Bayat said.

Fifteen years later, as executive vice president of New Dawn Energy LLC, a privately owned E&P with assets in multiple U.S. shale plays, Bayat continues to work with his father, now CEO of New Dawn. He recently led the acquisition of a nearly 300,000-acre minerals position in western Louisiana for New Dawn.

Career milestones

“I could have easily spent many more years [after entering the oil and gas industry] specializing in reservoir and production engineering. However, my father and I took the new exciting task of building a new oil and gas company, New Dawn Energy LLC, and managing it.

“This was a turning point in my career that took advantage of, first, my knowledge of screening oil and gas properties and performing data mining for specialists, and second, my communication skills from my earlier career.”

Getting off the ground

“Within three months [of New Dawn’s formation], I set up a functioning office ready to hire staff and a string of oil and gas marketing agencies to work with us. Working with my father, we hired a small team of specialists to evaluate oil and gas properties for acquisition. We subsequently acquired many attractive properties across the U.S.

“Once I reach a decision, I should follow as far as I can go with it while remaining open to change if I find I have to make a course correction.”

“The particular project that I am proud of is the acquisition of nearly 300,000 mineral acres in 10 parishes in western Louisiana. Our team studied and evaluated this project for almost nine months before completing the transaction. The project offered our company many large-scale oil and gas projects for development.”

Advice and insight

“The most valuable advice I received from my father was to remain open to advice and suggestions before making up my mind. Once I reach a decision, I should follow as far as I can go with it while remaining open to change if I find I have to make a course correction.”

Leadership qualities
  • Remain informed about all that is related and is going in our industry.
  • Meet with colleagues in the industry, make regular contact with marketing agencies, attend the business trades, presentations and conferences.
  • Have clear objectives of what you want to achieve with the resources available to you.
  • Identify obstacles and find solutions to problems in your own way.
  • Be flexible and embrace changes when they appear to be reasonable.
  • Know that human resources are the key to turning assets into value.
  • Maintain a kind, friendly and fair organization.
Staying motivated

“Every time I see a car running, a light shining or a plane flying overhead, I recall that most of the tools we have at our disposal were developed thanks to oil and gas for them to run. This makes me excited about the work I do and gives it meaning.

“Many see the wild fluctuations of oil and gas prices as a nuisance for our industry and the lives and careers of all who work and serve this industry. I like to think of it as the means of creating new opportunities and challenges for better prepared companies.

“As these cycles occur every four to six years, companies have plenty of time to prepare for and grow during the next cycle.”