Iranian oil port in Khuzestan province, situated on an island on the east side of the Shatt-al-Arab waterway at the head of the Gulf, 675 km/420 mi southwest of Tehran; population (2006) 219,800. Abadan is the chief refinery and shipping centre for Iran's oil industry, nationalized in 1951. This measure was the beginning of the worldwide movement by oil-producing countries to assume control of profits from their own resources. By 1980 over 18 million tonnes of crude oil were being processed annually. Oil installations were badly damaged during the Iran–Iraq war (1980–88), but considerable reconstruction has taken place since, largely on nearby Kharg Island.
The modern city was established by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company following the production of oil from 1905–08. The oil refinery is among the largest in the world and is linked by pipeline to the port of Bandar Mahshahr. The residential quarters of Abadan were originally planned and laid out by Costain, a British building firm: Ahmadebad for Iranian and Indian workers, Braim for the European technicians, designed like an English garden suburb. The climate is very hot and humid in summer.