Oil discovery transformed Iran
BBC / By John Leyne

They call it "Well Number One". A sign proudly proclaims the spot where the first middle-eastern oil was discovered 100 years ago.

The oil derrick is still there - it produced oil for 70 years.

The town itself - Masjid e Suleiman - in south west Iran, is still an oil town. The countryside is criss-crossed with the pipelines that bring oil from each wellhead to the refinery or the export terminal.

But much else has changed.

For nearly 50 years the Iranian oil industry was controlled by the British Anglo-Persian Oil company.

You can still see the names of British companies on some of the older plant. But the British only paid $75,000 (£40,000) for the original 60-year concession - and a small share of the profits.

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