After years of exploration, British engineers and geologists strike oil while working in Khuzestan,Iran,under the D'Arcy Concession, signed in 1901 between William Knox D'Arcy and Mozzafar al-Din Shah of Persia. After unsuccessful drilling at Mamatain and Shardin, they concentrate their final efforts, at Maydan-i-Naftun, in 1907. Views, from a mountainside, of rugged topography in foothills of the Zagros Mountains. Men and horses move up a slope. The Karun River flows at the foot of the hills. Men and pack animals appear ready to ford the river. Scene shifts to the hands of British Chief Engineer, George B. Reynolds, holding open his hand-written journal with a photograph of himself inserted between the pages. View shifts back to the rugged landscape, where a small waterfall is emptying into a pool in the river below. More views of the terrain and of camels being herded by men, moving past grazing sheep being tended by a shepherd. George B. Reynolds, is seen on horseback. In the background workers are busy setting up camp at Maydan-i-Naftun. (The overall project camp was at Masjid-i-Suleiman AKA Masjed Soleyman.) A woman draws water from an overflowing pool on a hillside,and pours it into a large desert water bag. Men dig up earth to prepare for oil drilling at Maydan-i-Naftun. Men assembling an oil derrick and commencing to drill for oil. View of the successful well being pumped at Maydan-i-Naftun. Well-dressed man checks drill before it is lowered into hole. Men and mules move up a slope and rugged hills.
Activities of George B. Reynolds and his team operating an oil drilling mechanism in Masjed Soleyman, Iran. Reynolds, representing the Anglo-Persian Oil Company or APOC, (which later became British Petroleum in 1954, or BP), studies maps while smoking a pipe. An oil rig set up in the desert at the location Masjid-i-Sulaiman. Workers and mechanics working at the rig. Close views of the diary records of George B. Reynolds. Men work on oil rigs under intense sun. The oil rig working and striking oil; a cloud of smoke and fire from the ground. Close views of a binder holding letter from Lewis Mallet to the British foreign office announcing the successful oil discovery. A seemingly unrelated two-second view of 1908-era motor cars on a street follows.
Activities setting up an oil drilling system in Masjed Soleyman, Iran, led by George B. Reynolds who was working for a British syndicate led by William Knox D'Arcy. Herds of camel, sheep and animals in desert. A laborer skimming oil from a natural surface-bubbling well. Men on horse guide laborers digging ground in desert. Laborers stand on scaffolds and work together. A machinery system set up for drilling on the rig. Laborers rotate shaft and the underground oil comes out. A man observes quality of drilled oil. Man on horses move up a ridge followed by laborers carrying their equipment.
Scenes from the film camera accompanying the William Knox D'Arcy British oil exploration party in Iran, led by George B. Reynolds. Markets and civilian lifestyle in Iran. Steam boat sails in a river. Buildings near the river. The Shrine of Imam Ali Reza in Mashhad, Iran. A man drives loads on donkeys. Civilians on dusty streets. Two men on roadside smoke a water pipe. A shoe maker making shoes near road. Crowd of men, shops and merchandise in busy markets.
Activities of a team setting up oil drilling efforts in Iran, under the direction of George B. Reynolds, working for a British syndicate led by William Know D'Arcy. A native man leads a large herd of camels loaded with material. Ancient Persian buildings and monuments in ruined states. Sculptures and portraits of kings, horses, and half flying horse half man figures on building walls.
Sand dunes in desert of Iran, Persia. The oil exploration team led by Geroge B. Reynolds, working for William Know D'Arcy, moves across the countryside in search of oil. A group of men pull their horses across dunes and climb a hill. Desert sand all over. Men on horsebacks cross a small river flowing through the desert. Notebook of George Reynolds with a photograph in it.