The First Oil Field in the Middle East

The 1908 discovery of Masjid Suleiman in southwest Iran

This year marks the 110th anniversary of the discovery of the Masjid Suleiman oil field in southwest Persia (Iran), which ushered in a new era in the history of the Middle East. This is the story of the men whose vision, interests and perseverance made it happen.

Image Caption

Gusher: Oil discovery well at Masjid Suleiman, 1908. Source: British Petroleum Archive No. 178498.George Bernard Reynolds (left) with two colleagues Crush (center) and Willans (right) in Persia ca. 1909. Source: British Petroleum Archive No. 178509-08.

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Comments (1)

The first oilfield in the Middle-East
Such stories are eye openers for people like me who grew up hearing, 'All easy oil have been discovered.' These pieces of history reveals what difficulties the early explorers for oil went through. The 'easy oil' wasn't really easy to find. The 1904 coal to oil fuel conversion plan of the British Royal Navy might have infused energy into the search in Persia. Churchill's 1914 takeover of APOC gave another fillip to the efforts. The flow of events makes one wonder, how wars, beside fostering women petroleum geoscientists, encouraged finding more oil.
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6/27/2018 2:03:41 AM

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