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The record is made up of 1 volume (220 folios). It was created in 12 Aug 1935-20 Jun 1936. 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 . 5800/35.
Record of interviews with Mr. Ballantyne on
August 19th and 20th.
Mr.Ballantyne called by appointme
esterday and
the proposals put forward in his two letters of August
the Petroleum Department in Mr.Starling’s letter of
It was put to Mr.Ballantyne that the position
appears to be follows:
(a) It would suit the Standard Company very well to
set up a refinery in Bahrain;
(b) It would also suit the Sheikh, though so far as
we can see the only real tangible benefit which he is
likely to gain from it is the probable increase in the
production of Bahrain crude oil. The extra employment
which a refinery would involve would be comparatively
small* Mr.Ballantyne agreed.
(c) The Company betbre taking actual steps to sink a
lot of money in a refinery at Bahrain want to be sure
that they will not in future be open to blackmailing
impositions from the Sheikh or his successors, however
unlikely these may be. (in this connection it was
pointed out to Mr.Ballantyne that since in the ordinary
course of obsolescence, depreciation, etc. the actual
life of a refinery is presumably very much less than 55
years, indeed probably would not exceed a quarter of
that period, it was difficult for him to press too far
the argument in his letter that before setting up a
refinery it was essential for the Company to have
12th were discussed in the light of advice given by
complete exemption from duties and taxation for the

About this item


The volume contains correspondence between the 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. (Maurice Clauson), the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Hamilton R Ballantyne), 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. (Trenchard Craven Fowle, Percy Gordon Loch) , 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. at Bahrain (Percy Gordon Loch), and the Government of Bahrain (Shaikh Ḥamad bin ‘Īsá Āl Khalīfah, Charles Dalyrmple Belgrave) regarding the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO)’s wish to erect an oil refinery in Bahrain.

The primary subject of discussion in the volume is the Bahrain Petroleum Company’s interest in erecting a refinery in Bahrain; the possible markets for oil produced by it; the Admiralty’s interest in the potential value of access to petrol during wartime conditions; and the possibility of using a refinery in Bahrain to refine imported oil. Also discussed is the Company’s interest in securing further tax exemptions from the Bahrain Government in relation to establishing a refinery; an agreement to increase the minimum amount of royalty paid by BAPCO to the Bahrain Government; and the desire of the Shaikh of Bahrain to ensure that every effort would be made to employ Bahraini subjects at the refinery once complete.

Other matters discussed in the volume include:

  • BAPCO’s intention of loaning American refinery construction workers from the Standard Oil Company of California to work on construction of the refinery at Bahrain, and arrangements with the British Consul-General in San Francisco (Cyril H Cane) for the issuing of visas to the relevant individuals;
  • the drafting of a deed which would modify the mining lease between BAPCO and the Government of Bahrain in order to enable the erection of a refinery in Bahrain, and the procedures required for its signature in Bahrain. A copy of the original mining lease can be found at folios 6-16, and a copy of the deed modifying the lease can be found at folios 167-170.
  • BAPCO’s intention of attempting to acquire some of the plant for the refinery from Germany and the need for the plant to be accompanied by 2 Germans to assist in its erection and to oversee the training of BAPCO staff in its use.

A series of file notes which were maintained as a record of the correspondence in the volume can be found at folios 213-217.

Extent and format
1 volume (220 folios)

The volume contains a table of contents on folio 2 comprising of subject headings and page references. The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the front to the rear of the file. File notes for the volume can be found at folios 213-217, the notes cover the correspondence contained within the volume as well as references to correspondence covering the period 15-20 June 1936 which is recorded as having been transferred to file 86/2 [IOR/R/15/1/662].

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover, and terminates at the inside back cover; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. An additional mixed foliation/pagination sequence is also present in parallel between ff 6-217; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled. The parallel sequence is located in the same position as the main sequence, although some folios are also numbered on the verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. .

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'CONFIDENTIAL 86/9-I OIL REFINERY BAHRAIN PETROLEUM COMPANY. C-64' [‎4v] (13/448), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/681, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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