Discovery of Oil in the Middle East

Timeline created by NHD timeline
  • Petroleum Concession

    Petroleum Concession
    William Knox D’Arcy obtained an exclusive petroleum concession for 60 years, signed by Shah, covering all of Persia Except the five northern provinces.
  • Slight Show of Oil

    In 1903, a slight show of gas and oil was encountered at 505.3 meters. (Date isn't accurate, it's in 1903, the month is correct, but not sure about the day)
  • First Exploration Company

    In May 1903, D’Arcy formed the First Exploration Company with a capital of £6000,000, half of which belonged to him.
  • A second well

    On January 1904, a second well hit oil at a similar depth. However, D’Arcy’s excitement was short lived; the well soon began to dry out. (Date isn't accurate, it's in 1904, the month is correct, but not the day.)
  • Sir John Fisher takes interest in D'Arcy's company

    In October 1904, Sir John Fisher was planning to convert the Royal Navy from coal to oil fueling, and wanted to prevent the D’Arcy concession to slip out of British hands. (Date isn't accurate, it's in 1904, the month is correct, but the day isn't.)
  • The Concessions SYndicate Ltd. was formed

    Sir John Fisher formed the Concessions Syndicate Ltd. to take over D’Arcy’s operations in Persia with new financial contributions from the Scottish Burma Oil Company. D’Arcy still remained the director of the new company. (Date isn't accurate, it's in 1905, but the month isn't correct.)
  • Southern Khuzistan Province

    Concession Syndicate decided to abandon Chiah Surkh and move the oil drilling to the southern Khuzistan Province. (The year is correct, not the month and day.)
  • The first test well at Shardin

    The first test well at Shardin
    George Bernard Reynolds is an Englishman graduated from the Royal Indian Engineering College, and self-taught geologist who had drilled in the Dutch oil fields of Sumatra. This was one of the two test wells at Shardin George had drilled, this well was reaching a depth of 662 meters. However, this well was dry. (Year is correct, not the month and date.)
  • The second test well

    The second test well
    This is the second test well that Reynolds drilled, it was up to 592 meters deep. However, this well was also dry. (Year is correct, not the month and day.)
  • Finding the third test well

    Finding the third test well
    Reynolds didn’t give up, he decided to try a third area located about 90km northeast of Ahavaz. This area was called “The Plain of Petroleum”. He was enthusiastic about this well, however, the Burma Board of Concessions Syndicate, having already spent so much money, was beginning to lose heart.
  • A gusher- after seven years

    A gusher- after seven years
    Reynold’s devotion paid off, on 16 May 1908, a strong gas smell in the rock was noted. Reynolds kept on drilling.

    On 26 May 1908, the well hit oil- the gusher shot more than 20 meters above the rig. William D'Arcy came to make sure that this well won't dry up like all the other ones, and sent the good new back to the British Government.