User:Shaibalahmar/Geologists of the Iraq Petroleum and Associated Companies

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Geologists of the Iraq Petroleum and Associated Companies describes a number of prominent earth scientists who worked for the Iraq Petroleum Company and its associates in the Middle East at various times during the period 1929-72. The Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) was created from five different groups: the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Royal Dutch Shell, Compagnie Française des Pétroles, the Near East Development Corporation (Standard Oil of New Jersey and Socony-Vacuum). Thus IPC was able to draw on a remarkable pool of geologicial talent, and its own staff benefited from the vast experience drawn from its partner companies. As the company’s operations went beyond Iraq to encompass most of Middle East within the Red Line Agreement of 1928, many of these geologists had access to a wide geographical area of geology, were able to study and make a major contribution to, the geology of the region.

Name Areas worked Term(s) of employment with IPC
Ziad Rafiq "Don" Beydoun Mainly Syria, Iraq, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and the Aden Protectorates 1948-58, 1960-63
Douglas Michael "Mike" Morton All areas 1945-71
Don Sheridan Oman, Qatar, Abu Dhabi 1954-1957


The doorway to oil exploration in Iraq opened in 1925 when the forerunner of IPC, the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC), was granted a concession to look for oil in the country. In 1929, following the discovery of oil at Baba Gurgur, IPC took on the TPC mantle and developed its exporation programmes until 1971, when nationalisation effectively ended the company's involvement with Iraq. One postive legacy of IPC's work was a remarkable resource of geological knowledge which is used by students and practitioners to this day.

One manifestation of this was the Stratigraphic Lexicon of Iraq by R.C. van Bellen, H.V. Dunnington, R. Wetzel and D.M. Morton, published by the Centre Nationale de Recherches Scientifique (CNRS) in 1959. In fact, the CNRS published lexcions not only for Iraq but also for countries such as Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and Yemen. These, in summary, represented a vast compilation of geological knowledge of the Middle East at the time, to which the geologists of IPC made a major contribution. Despite the fact that many studies have since followed, and more oil discoveries made, the lexicons are still used as a standard reference book in studies today.


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