By: Mir M.Hosseini
A year after exploring rich oil reserves in Masjed-e-Soleyman in 1908, William Knox D'Arcy registered the British Persian petroleum company in London. Before D'Arcy, a French man named Julius Reuter had tried to gain the rights to Iranian oil reserves but he did not succeed. But D'Arcy somehow succeeded in bribing some influential people at the royal court including the prime minister and signed an agreement with the Shah in 1901 for a period of 60 months. Due to objections from Russians, 5 northern provinces bordering Russia were excluded.
Although oil was found, lack of funds forced D'Arcy to sell some of the shares of the company but he remained in the board of directors until 1917 when he died. At the brisk of the World War I, the British government owned %51 of the shares. The state share gradually went up to %97 until the nationalization of oil movement in Iran. The company later became British Petroleum and now is known as one of the biggest oil companies in the world.