BANDAR-e MĀHŠAHR (Bandar-e Maʿšūr), a port at the western end of the Persian Gulf, on the northern bank of the Ḵor-e Mūsā tideway, which forms the lower course of the Jar(r)āḥī river. At the end of the 19th century, Bandar-e Māhšahr was a small port used exclusively by native boats that hauled goods for neighboring Arab tribes (cloth and dates were imported; wheat, rice, barley, clarified butter, and wool exported). After the development of Bandar-e Šāhpūr, petroleum reservoirs were built at Bandar-e Māhšahr, as it was situated on the railway that was constructed in 1943 to join Bandar-e Šāhpūr with the oil fields of Āḡā Jārī. Furthermore, since 1945, a pipeline that carries oil from the Āḡā Jārī fields to the refinery at Ābādān has passed through Bandar-e Māhšahr. With oil production on the rise, in 1948 the town became a port for exporting crude oil. Bandar-e Māhšahr could be used by ships of up to 40,000 tons. It remained the major outlet for Iranian petroleum with annual traffic amounting to more than forty million tons, until installations at Ḵārg, which were accessible to supertankers that could carry loads of 100,000 tons, were started up in 1960. Thereafter, crude oil was no longer exported; however, refined products from Ābādān, which no longer has an active port, were exported through Bandar-e Māhšahr. During the period 1956-66, the town’s population rose modestly from 15,694 to 16,594. After this relative stagnation, Bandar-e Māhšahr began to grow again as home to part of the labor force from the important petrochemical complex in nearby Bandar-e Šāhpūr. The population reached 30,000 in 1976.



British Naval Intelligence, Persia, Oxford, 1945, pp. 501-02.

G. N. Curzon, Persia and the Persian Question, London, 1892, 11, p. 400.

I. Djazani, Wirtschaft und Bevölkerung im Khuzistan und ihr Wandel unter dem Einfluss des Erdöls, Tübingen, 1963.

E. Ehlers, Iran, Darmstadt, 1980, pp. 304, 465-66.

A. Melamid, “The Geographical Pattern of Iranian Oil Development,” Economic Geography 35, 1959, pp. 199-218.

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(X. De Planhol)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: December 15, 1988

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 7, p. 688