Oil and gas sources are found all around Iran from the South-West borderline in Khouzestan province to the North-East borderline in Khangiran and Sarakhs in Khorasan-e-Razavi province. These oil-fields have created some unique natural, historic and cultural tourist attractions.
Some of these unique attractions in khouzestan and the South of Ilam are: The oil-well No. 1 in Masjed-Soleyman, Oil spring in Masjed-Soleyman, Mamatin oil springs in Ramhormoz, Sarmasjed (Safeh-Soleyman) outdoor fire-temple in Chahar-Bisheh in Masjed-Soleyman, Bard-Neshandeh (Planted Stone) outdoor fire-temple 15 Km away from Masjed-Soleyman, Tashkouh (Burning-Hill) in Gonbade-Loran village in Ramhormoz, Kouh-e-Soukhteh (The burnt hill) on the way from Omidieh to Aqajari, Dehloran tar-spring, over 3600 oil-wells all around, petrochemical constructions and the gas torches in some refineries that sometimes the fireflame reaches up to 60 meters.
The oil-well No. 1 in Masjed-Soleyman is the first oil-well in the Middle-East that is in the city of Masjed-Soleyman in E49,18.617 & N31,55.870 and about 245 m above the sea level. In some tourists’ travel logs such as Demorgan, it is mentioned that local people in Khouzestan have been using tar and oil. Archeological research proves that the tar has been used to build the walls. Boats and ceramic containers were covered with tar and the fireballs including tar in Maad and Ilami era were used to frighten the enemies. Such materials were used to polish the metals, clean the cloth, burn the fire and torches, to stop bleeding in medical care, to treat toothache, to put the cut muscles together and to cure the rheumatism.
According to the evidence, a contract started on May 28th in 1901 in Qajarieh era between Mozaffareddin-Shah and the British Villiam Naks Darsi to discover, exploit and trade the oil, gas, tar and natural wax. Finally after several unsuccessful attempts, at 4 A.M on May 26th in 1908 the black-gold-oil, was obtained from 360 meters deep which had about 3600 liters daily.
Oil and gas has affected Iranian culture since the ancient times. The outdoor fire-temples such as Sarmasjed in Chahar-Bisheh in Masjed-Soleyman at E49,16.996 & N31,59.069 and 315 meters above the sea level, Barde-Neshandeh (planted stone) 5 Km away from Masjed-Soleyman on the way to Andika at E49,20.072 & N32,02.201 and about 680 meters above the sea level are remained from Ashkanian era, which consists of a 5.3 m high and 50 cm thick stone. Professor Krishman believed this is the oldest outdoor temple in Iran which is built by stones without using any mortar and was kept burning with the natural oil vapor.
Tashkouh (burning-hill) , 2 Km away from Gonbad-e-Loran village in the North-East of Ramhormoz in Khouzestan province, is located at E49,48.655 & N31,16.475 and about 300 meters above the sea level is still burning with the natural gas coming out from the ground and creates a unique natural attraction.
The tar spring in Dehloran is another unique natural tourist attraction, consists of a main spring and two branches. It is located 3 Km away in the East of Dehloran in the South of Ilam province at E47,20.120 & N32,41.890 and about 260 m above the sea level.
There are lots of active oil and gas wells, refineries and petrochemical constructions all around Khouzestan plain that are not allowed to visit because of the safety. But it is advised to visit the unique natural, historical and cultural tourist attractions mentioned & described above. Khouzestan has a warm climate and in summer, it reaches into 50° C so the cold half of the year is the best time to visit this area.