The township of Abadan is located to the southwest of Khuzestan province, and experiences short winters and long warm summers, along with a high percentage of humidity. Abadan is a delta shaped island, with its base facing towards the Persian Gulf and its head towards Khoram Shahr.
Previously it was supposed to be called "Khezr Island" but later on it was known as "Ebadan". In 1935 "Ebadan" changed to "Abadan". Its center is the city of Abadan, which lies at a distance of 1,000 km. from Tehran. At the end of the 13th century AH, due to the presence of the oil industry, Abadan developed and expanded. In the year 1909, the refinery factories were erected, which unfortunately suffered heavy damage during the imposed war between Iran and Iraq. After which it is gradually regaining its former status. This refinery is one of the attractive sites of the city of Abadan, and is one of the oldest and largest refineries in the world. The Abadan refinery located near the coast of the Persian Gulf, Built by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later BP), it was completed in 1912.
Abadan is thought to have been further developed into a major port city under the Abbasids' rule. In this time period, it was a commercial source of salt and woven mats. The siltation of the river delta forced the town further away from water. In the 14th century, however, Ibn Battutah described Abadan just as a small port in a flat salty plain.
Politically, Abadan was often the subject of dispute between the nearby states; in 1847, Persia acquired it from Turkey, in which state Abadan has remained since. From the 17th century onward, the island of Abadan was part of the lands of the Arab Ka'ab (Bani Kaab) tribe. One section of this tribe, Mohaysen, had its headquarters at Mohammara(present-day Khorramshahr), until the removal of Shaikh Khaz'al Khan in 1924.
it was not until the 20th century that rich oil fields were discovered in the area. On 16 July 1909, after secret negotiation with the British consul, Percy Cox, assisted by Arnold Wilson, Sheik Khaz'al agreed to a rental agreement for the island including Abadan.
In September 1980, Abadan was almost overrun during a surprise attack on Khuzestan by Iraq, marking the beginning of the Iran–Iraq War. For 12 months Abadan was besieged, but never captured, by Iraqi forces, and in September 1981, the Iranians broke the siege of Abadan. Much of the city, including the oil refinery which was the world's largest refinery with capacity of 628,000 barrels per day, was badly damaged or destroyed by the siege and by bombing. Previous to the war, the city's civilian population was about 300,000, but before it was over, almost the entire populace had sought refuge elsewhere in Iran.
After the war, the biggest concern was the rebuilding of Abadan's oil refinery, as it was operating at 10% of capacity due to damage. In 1993, the refinery began limited operation and the port reopened. By 1997, the refinery reached the same rate of production as before the war. Recently, Abadan has been the site of major labour activity as workers at the oil refineries in the city have staged walkouts and strikes to protest non-payment of wages and the political situation in the country.