Refinery construction operations began in October 1909 . Company employees who at the time were limited to several drillers , mechanics , and an accountant and a physician , rose to 2500 . In 1911 , the company’s airplane landed in Iran for the first time and the first Iranian crude oil cargo was lifted for export in 1912 . By 1914 , there were altogether 30 oil wells drilled in Masjid-e-Soleiman area . The company and the British government reached an agreement in the same year , whereby the latter became the majority shareholder of the company . From then on , the British government had two members on the company board of directors with special powers to veto those decisions of the board which were considered contrary to the interests of the British government . The arrangement was approved by Britain’s House of Commons on 17th June 1914 , on the eve of the first World War . Based on a confidential agreement negotiated with the British admiralty , the company undertook to supply all the fuel requirements of the British navy at low prices .
The first World War ( 1914-1918) proved the tremendous importance of oil .The use of oil in wars dates back to olden time . In explaining the organization of the ancient warrior forces , historians have reportedly referred to horsemen , infantrymen , archers and “ oil-throwers “ . But the use of oil in contemporary wars is not so limited .All the awesome movement and firepower in today’s ground , sea and air wars , in fact , are made possible , only because of oil . Without it , personnel carriers , tanks and fighter planes will not be able to move . Based on this same reality , Lord Curzon said after the First World War that the war was won on waves of oil .