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‘File 86/2 XIII (C 61) Bahrain Oil’ [‎13r] (33/438)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (218 folios). It was created in 21 Dec 1934-30 Aug 1935. It was written in English and Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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P. Z.7806/34.
19 3 JViborgate,
Loncion ? E.G. 2.
18th December 1934.
Dear Mr. Laithwalte,
Thank you for your letter p.Z.7622/34 of
yesterday's date from which it would appear that there
is now unanimity in Bahrein concerning Articles I and
I observe that there is some question
concerning compensation wnich nas yet to come forward.
It is a kinaly action on the part of Colonel
Loch to put the Financial Adviser to the sheikh in a
position to discuss at leisure witn the sheikh, the
proposed Lease; it is much appreciated hy the Company.
I note and confirm that the Lease is to he
typed in Bahrein for execution and to he printed in
London subsequently at leisure to supply the necessary
After very careful consideration I agree
with you that there is no need for an extra schedule;
it is true that the town of Muharraq is not shewn on
the so-called Selection Map which is to constitute the
Second schedule to the Lease hut we here think it would
be much the hest plan to have inset on such plan a
small nap shewing the head of the Muharraq Island with
the to'wn of Muharraq and its urhan boundaries. We are
telegraphing accordingly to Mr. Davies at Bahrein
asking him to see that this is done. It should be quite
a simple matter and I think it will be found that it

About this item


The volume contains letters, telegrams and memoranda relating to oil production in Bahrain, being undertaken by the Bahrain Petroleum Company (hereafter BAPCO). The volume is a direct continuation of ‘File 86/2 XII (C 54) Bahrain Oil’ (IOR/R/15/1/660). The principal correspondents in the volume are the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , Lieutenant-Colonel Trenchard Fowle, the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. in Bahrain, Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Gordon Loch, and BAPCO’s representatives in London (Hamilton Ballantyne) and Bahrain (Messrs Russell and Smith).

The subjects covered by the volume are:

  • Finalisation of BAPCO’s mining lease, and its signing on 29 December 1934 by the Ruler of Bahrain, Shaikh Ḥamad bin ‘Īsá Āl Khalīfah, and representatives of BAPCO. The volume includes a photostat [photocopy] of the original lease (in English and Arabic, folios 137-67) and a printed copy (English, folios 170-87), both of which contain a map (folios 164 and page 186 respectively) showing the 100,000 acres designated by BAPCO for the mining lease;
  • Discussion over the status of land reserved by Shaikh Hamad and the ruling family for leisure purposes within the concession area (palace and gardens, hunting, racing), with a scientific survey of the areas in question (folios 191-99);
  • Details relating to the transfer of oil from storage tanks on land to tankers off the coast of Sitrah Island, including proposals for procedures to be followed relating to oil in the sea-loading line and the discharge of ballast (folios 77-79, 81-84) and a diagrammatic plan (folio 50) of the tank installation, attached to a detailed description of the tank facilities (folios 43-49);
  • The appointment of Mr Smith as Chief Local Representative for BAPCO (folio 119), pending Mr Russell’s planned absence from Bahrain;
  • Speculation over the extent of oil exports from Bahrain, and Japan as a key market, with an anticipated five tanker visits during 1935 (folios 110-11);
  • An abstract of accounts for oil measured in 1934 (folios 102-04), including details of the amount of oil produced and shipped, the amount of oil in storage, and royalties paid to Shaikh Hamad;
  • BAPCO’s annual report for 1934 (folios 127-34), with details about the status of BAPCO’s wells, a description of the oil camp buildings, and a breakdown of the nationalities of the Company’s 589 employees;
  • An application by BAPCO to reserve uncultivated land for the drilling of water wells, including a map of the area under consideration (folios 204-05).
Extent and format
1 volume (218 folios)

The volume’s contents are arranged in approximate chronological order, from the earliest item at the front to the latest at the end. The office notes at the end of the volume (ff 209-13) mirror the chronological arrangement. There is a subject index, arranged alphabetically, at the front of the volume (f 1A), the numbers of which correspond to the volume’s foliation.

Many items of correspondence in the volume have pencil annotations, which refer to related items of correspondence found within other parts of the Bahrain Oil subject file. These annotations include the related confidential file number and the page number.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The volume is foliated from the first folio to the last folio, using pencil numbers written in the top-right corner of each recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. . The foliation sequence switches to pagination between ff 171-186. Numbers written in red or blue pencil are part of the volume’s original filing system, and correspond to the office notes index at the end of the volume (ff 209-13). The following foliation anomalies occur: 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D; 187 and 187A.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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‘File 86/2 XIII (C 61) Bahrain Oil’ [‎13r] (33/438), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/661, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 October 2019]

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