Oil discovered in Persia 100 years ago this month

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Dramatic events in a remote Persian wilderness exactly a hundred years ago heralded the beginning of a new era in the Middle East. A wealthy British entrepreneur, William Knox D’Arcy (1849-1917), had secured a concession to prospect for oil in the country in 1901. After several years of exhausting andsy seemingly fruitless work, a drilling team led by a maverick British explorer, George Reynolds (1852-1925) was about to strike gold. During the early hours of May 26th, 1908, a short distance from an ancient settlement known as Masjid-i Suleiman, in south-western Persia, the ground suddenly started to rumble and, as men shouted with excitement and fear, a gushing, stinking black torrent spurted high into the air.

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