Baba Gurgur Oil Strike


TPC obtained a concession to explore for oil in 1925, in return for a promise that the Iraqi government would receive a royalty for every ton of oil extracted, but linked to the oil companies' profits and not payable for the first 20 years. The concession required the company to select 24 rectangular plots of 8 square miles each for drilling operations. During the 1925/6 season, an international geological party, comprising representatives of the shareholding companies conducted a wide-ranging survey of Iraq. Two wells were selected for drilling at Pulkanah and one each at Khashm al Ahmar, Injanah and Qaiyarah. Kirkuk was included as the sixth location. The well at Baba Gurgur was located by geologist J.M. Muir just north of Kirkuk. Drilling started, and in the early hours of 14 October 1927 oil was struck. Many tons of oil were spilled before the gushing well was brought under control, and the oil field soon proved to be extensive.


The Middle East




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