Oil exploration in Masjid-i-Suleiman, Iran. Aerial views of rugged topography and low lying hills. Men and horses move up a slope. A river flows at the foot of the hills. A herd of sheep grazes in the background as camels move in front of them. British engineer and oil explorer, George Reynolds, on horseback, setting up camp at Masjid-i-Suleiman, Iran, with tents in the background. Men dig up earth to prepare for oil drilling. Men assembling an oil derrick and commencing to drill for oil. View of a successful well being pumped. Well-dressed man checks drill before it is lowered into hole. Men and mules move up a slope and rugged hills. Location: Masjid-i-Suleiman Iran. Date:  1908.

GeoLegends: George Bernard Reynolds (presented by Dr. Rasoul Sorkhabi) >>> watch

A British-born engineer, George Bernard Reynolds retired after 30 years of work in India. He then became interested in the oil industry, working first in oil fields in Indonesia. In the early 1900s, he was hired by William Knox D’Arcy to explore for oil in Persia. After drilling two dry holes in 1908 while working for the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Reynolds drilled the discovery well of the first oil field found in the Middle East, the Masjid Sulaiman Field in the Zagros Basin. Following World War I, while working for Shell Oil in Venezuela’s Maracaibo Basin, Reynolds located several promising structures. He selected one, and in 1922 drilled the discovery well of the giant LaRosa Field. This little-known retired engineer opened up two of the world’s largest oil producing areas, the Middle East and Venezuela.