- D'Arcy, William Knox
born Oct. 11, 1849, Newton Abbot, Devonshire, Eng.died May 1, 1917, Stanmore, MiddlesexBritish businessman.After earning a fortune as a gold miner in Australia, D'Arcy secured a 60-year oil-mining concession in Iran in 1901. The concession, obtained with British government assistance, covered an area of 500,000 sq mi (1.3 million sq km). An oil strike on these lands led to the formation of the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. in 1909. See also BP PLC.
* * *▪ British entrepreneurborn Oct. 11, 1849, Newton Abbot, Devonshire, Eng.died May 1, 1917, Stanmore, Middlesex [now Greater London]English businessman who was the principal founder of the Iranian oil industry.As a youth D'Arcy emigrated with his father to Queensland, Australia, where between 1882 and 1889 he made a fortune in the Mount Morgan goldfield. He returned to London and, with British government assistance, secured (in 1901) a 60-year oil-mining concession in Iran. The area, more than 500,000 square miles (1,300,000 square km), included the entire country exclusive of five provinces bordering on Russia. The first strike of any value was made in May 1908 in southwestern Iran and led to the formation of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (BP PLC) in 1909. D'Arcy retired from active business immediately thereafter. As the first Westerner to discover the oil-production potential of the Middle East, D'Arcy effectively transformed the region into an area of enduring geopolitical interest.
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