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Natural seepage aroused an early interest in Iraq's oil potential. After the discovery of oil at Baku (in what is now the Soviet Union, on the west side of the Caspian Sea) in the 1870s, foreign groups began seeking concessions for exploration in Iran and in the area of the Ottoman Empire that became Iraq after World War I. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later renamed the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and still later British Petroleum) was granted a concession in Iran and discovered oil in 1908. Shortly before World War I, the British government purchased majority ownership of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.
The discovery of oil in Iran stimulated greater interest in potential Iraqi oil resources, and financial groups from several major nations engaged in protracted negotiations and in considerable intrigue with the Ottoman Empire in order to obtain concessions to explore for oil in Mosul and in Kirkuk, two locations in what later was north-central Iraq. Although a few concessions were granted prior to World War I, little surveying or exploration was done.
Data as of May 1988
Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.
Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Iraq was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.
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Section 54 of 128
(IQ) Iraqi Dinar (IQD)
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