The Anglo-Australian entrepreneur William Knox D’Arcy, backed by the Royal Navy and the Indian government, formed the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC), which discovered the first commercially viable oil field in the Middle East, in Southwestern Persia, in 1908.
Next, APOC teamed up with the Armenian tycoon Calouste Gulbenkian to form the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC) in 1912, to search for oil in Mesopotamia (Ottoman Iraq). While imprecisely known to Westerners, Northern Iraq was undoubtedly home to petroleum deposits, as numerous oil seeps, some constantly on fire, dotted the landscape, while the region had the correct geology to host fossil fuels. However, the onset of World War I, which brought Britain into conflict with the Ottoman Empire, ended the TPC’s exploration activities before they even got off the ground.
In what was known as the Mesopotamian Campaign, British-Indian forces invaded Iraq. While the going was tough, the British eventually managed to take Baghdad in March 1917. From there, they fought their way north up towards Kirkuk and Mosul.
This pamphlet, printed in 1918 in Ottoman and English, at the end of WWI, is an extract from the contract, made between the Turkish Petroleum Concessions of the d’Arcy group and the Turkish Petroleum Company.