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Ivan Mirzoev

Ivan Mirzoev

Ivan Mirzoev (Armenian: Հովաննես Միրզոյան) (died 1880) was an Armenian businessman, the first person to drill oil in Baku and is considered one of the "founding fathers" of the Baku oil industry.[1] He founded the Mirzoev Brothers oil company, which at the time had become one of the most effective and sustainable companies in the world oil industry.[2][3] He was of Armenian descent.[4]


Born into an Armenian family in Tbilisi, Ivan Mirzoev moved to Baku and began working in the silk trade. In 1855, he then opened a fishery company on the banks of the Caspian sea, which employed 2,500 people.[5]

Oil business

In the years between 1821 and 1872, the Russian Czarist government maintained a monopoly over the Apsheron peninsula's oil fields.[4]

In 1863, through governments concessions, Mirzoev opened the first oil refinery in the Apsheron peninsula.[6] Mirzoev, who held concessions in Apsheron since 1863, immediately took up the opportunity to build his own drilling sites once the monopoly of the Russian government ended in 1872.[4]

In Surakhani, Mirzoev founded two kerosene factories and produced 160 thousand tons of kerosene, amounting to 260 thousand rubles.[7] This project made him the first exporter of petroleum out of Azerbaijan.[7]

In 1871, using wooden rods, Mirzoev drove a well 45 meters deep which produced a daily output of 2000 cubic meters in the Balakhany oil fields.[8] This because the first successful oil drilling operation in Baku's history.[9][4]

The success of the drilling of Mirzoev was the first element contributing to the Baku oil rush.[4] Mirzoev eventually became a major purchaser of oil in and around Baku.[4]

After Mirzoev's death, his wife Daria, sons Gregory and Melkon, and daughter Maria founded the oil industry and the partnership known as Brothers Mirzoev with a grand capital of 2.1 million rubles in 1886.[2] The company remained active until 1918 when it was forced to shut down due to massacres against Armenians.[2]

See also


    • L. Altstadt, Audrey L. Altstadt (1980). Economic development and political reform in Baku: the response of the Azerbaidzhani bourgeoisie. The Wilson Center, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies. p. 9. Retrieved 22 February 2013. Ter-Gukasov was the first tax-fanner for the oil lands, and was succeeded by Mirzoev, who would drill the first successful well
    • Daintith, Terence (2010). Finders keepers?: how the law of capture shaped the world oil industry (1. publ. ed.). Washington, DC: RFF Press. p. 157. ISBN 9781933115849. Retrieved 23 November 2012. The first drilled wells were completed only in 1871-1872 by the last holder of the contract monopoly, Mirzoev.
    • Гулишамбаров Ст., Очерк развития и современное состояние нефтяной промышленности Бакинского района (Сборник сведений о Кавказе, т. VII, Тифлис, 1880г.). С. 345
    • Eyyuboğlu, Osman Aray, B. Baykal (1999). The newly independent states of inner Asia and Turkey's policy. Tokyo, Japan: National Institute for Research Advancement. ISBN 9784795574175.
  1. "Archived copy" Ов.Мирзояна (in Russian). Armillion. Archived from the original on 15 August 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. Leeuw, Charles van der (1998). Azerbaijan : a quest for identity (1. publ. in the United States. ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9780312219031.
  3. L. Altstadt, Audrey (1992). The Azerbaijani Turks: Power and Identity Under Russian Rule (illustrated ed.). Hoover Press. p. 21. ISBN 0817991832. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  4. Caucasian calendar 1863, Tbilisi, 1862., P. 397
  5. Leeuw, Charles van der (2000). Oil and gas in the Caucasus & Caspian : a history (1. publ. in the United States of America. ed.). New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9780312232542.
  6. Meliksetian], Khachatur Dadaian; [perevod s armianskogo Lilit (2007). Armiane i Baku: 1850-ye gg.-1920 g. Erevan: Nauchno-obrazovatelʹnyĭ fond "Noravank". ISBN 9789994199952.
  7. "Icon". Icon: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology. F. Cass. 7–10: 156. 2001.
  8. Hovannisian, Richard G., ed. (2004). The Armenian people from ancient to modern times (1. paperback ed.). New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9781403964229. Among the earliest men to exploit the "black gold" of Baku were Armenians, including M. I. Mirzoev, who drilled the first successful well in 1871.
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