GAČSĀRĀN, town and oilfield in the province of Ḵūzestān, southwestern Persia. Gačsārān, located in the arid foothills of the Zagros, approximately 70 to 80 km southeast of Behbahān, owes its growth to the discovery of oil, which was found there in 1928. Gačsārān subsequently developed into one of the most important oilfields in Persia. It has been exploited commercially since 1940 and is connected via a 267 km pipeline to Ābādān (q.v.). Gačsārān became connected via another pipeline to the export terminal on the island of Ḵārg in 1961 and, in the early 1970s, with the oil-refinery near Shiraz and the chemical factory at Marvdašt, where natural gas is one of the major components of fertilizer production. For some time, Gačārān has ranked second in productivity behind Āḡājārī (q.v.). However, the oil and gas fields of Gačsārān cover the largest area of any in Persia and constitute a major source for the production of heavy crude. There is also a plant for liquified natural gas at Gačsārān. There are gas injection projects at Gačsārān to increase the amount of petroleum that can be extracted. As recently as 1988 a new oil field with an area of 4 km x 14 km was discovered near Gačsārān (at Ḵayrābād), where a well struck crude oil at 2,617 m. Damage inflicted during the Iran-Iraq War, especially in Gačsārān oilfields II and III, has since been repaired.
The population of the town of Gačsārān has increased dramatically as a result of its role in the exploration, discovery, and subsequent exploitation of the oil field. In 1956, official figures speak of a total population of 1,256. Since then, it has grown rapidly to 13,430 (1966) and 23,441 (1976). The latest figures available indicate a total population of 51,107 (1986) for the urban agglomeration of Dogonbadān-Gačsārān, making it one of the fastest growing towns in Persia.
I. Djazani, Wirtschaft und Bevölkerung in Khuzistan und ihr Wandel unter dem Einfluss des Erdöls, Tübinger Geographische Studien 8, Tübingen, 1963.
E. Ehlers, Iran: Grundzüge einer geographischen Landeskunde, Darmstadt, 1980, esp. pp. 186-95.
F. Fesharaki, Development of the Iranian Oil Industry: International and Domestic Aspects, New York, Washington, and London, 1976.
Originally Published: December 15, 2000
Last Updated: February 2, 2012
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Vol. X, Fasc. 3, p. 245