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As the Middle East is the prime hydrocarbon province in the world, it is not surprising that micropalaeontological biostratigraphy has been employed by the various national and international oil companies to provide chronostratigraphic, lithostratigraphic and palaeoenvironmental control for surface and subsurface samples. The discovery of oil in Iran in 1908, followed by Bahrain in 1932, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in 1938, Qatar in 1939, Abu Dhabi in 1959, Oman in 1963 and Yemen in 1984, led to a proliferation of micropalaeontological laboratories in each country, and numerous taxonomic publications on the Mesozoic and Tertiary foraminifera. The early micropalaeontologists in the region were associated with British exploration companies and were therefore British, whereas those associated with micropalaeontological support of Saudi Arabian stratigraphy were from the United States. Pioneering micropalaeontologists in this region include F. R. S. Henson, T. F. Grimsdale, G. F. Elliott, F. E. Eames, A. H. Smout, R. Bramkamp, C. D. Redmond and N. J. Sander. Other significant micropalaeontological contributions of regional significance have been included, but a comprehensive inclusion of such works is beyond the concept of this chapter.

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