Historic Photos
of the Baku Oil Industry

click on any photo for a better view.


The Noble brothers of Sweden - Robert, Alfred and Ludvig - are the founders of the Russian oil industry. A field complex, probably with worker housing, amongst Noble wells at Balakhani field in Azerbaijan in the 1890s is shown above. No doubt the noise and odors were awful. Robert and Ludvig directed most of their energies to the family oil business, known as Branoble, whereas Alfred was primarily a chemist. He is known for inventing dynamite, and for donating a portion of his wealth to create the Nobel Peace Prizes.

Nobel oil wells at Borislav - Tyshkevich field, on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

Oil towers at Balakhany-Saboontchy field. The derricks are covered to keep out rain and snow.

Workers building levees around a Baku spouter in 1890 to try and save the oil.

Nobel oil wells pumping oil into a giant pond in front of the derricks more than 100 years ago.

The Baku oil fields today. Many consider the area an ecologic disaster,
due to practices such the oil ponds shown in the photos above.