'11/5 Negotiations with Ibn Saud regarding Boundaries of Saudi Arabia' [47r] (93/430)
The record is made up of 1 file (212 folios). It was created in Mar 1944-4 Sep 1949. It was written in English. 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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Ext, 8036/46 / (),
lUmSZRX OP FUEL & POWER,
Ipnlon, S.v/. 1*
28th November, 1946.
^ dear Eion,
we have now had an inf ormal exchange of views with the U.o. State De^ar tanent
•nresentatives over here on the Continental Shelf issue as it afiects xha
n!-«aa Gulf, and on the question of the Qatar/Saudi Arabia boundary. On the
wti'question the Americans enquired uhat was the bate*; position because they
£n“bat it was desirable, if possible, to aToid difficult political issues being
raised through operations by oil companies which might develop in the "n^p.d e-band*
at the base of the Qatar Peninsula.
It has been agreed that the State Department and the British side respectively
•oald ascertain from the oil concessionaires in Qatar and Saudi Arabia whether oil
oaerations were contemplated in the .neighbourhood of the uncertain Qatar/Saudi Arabia
wriarv.. We have found out from Petroleum Concessions United that
aoutherracst drilling location under their present programme is about 44Jalosetres
north of the Qatar/Saudi Arabia boundary as defined on the map attached to their
iareement with the Sheikh of Qatar. Drilling at this location is due to start in
the first of 1947 and on its results will depend whether the Gcetpany wil-
wish to extend drilling further south.
The State Department will, obviously, not be in a position to report on the
intentions of the Caltex under their Saudi Arabian concession for some *hile. But
it occurs to me that it might be worth considering whether it would be useful to
to somewhat further with the State Department towards an arrangement which would
dimniah the possibility of uncontrolled oil exploration and possible discoveries
in the "no-man*s-land" area between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Do you trunk ,ha
something on the following lines would be worth while?
(a) To discuss in & little more detail with the State Department
the uncertainty about the Qatar/Saudi Arabia boundary line.
(b) Indicate that, from the point of view of H.M.G.,,we wo^ld not . .
wish to recognise the right of Caltex under their Saudi Arabian
concession to operate north of the yellow line which was, laid dcwn
by in its last discussions with Ibn Saud; and that, in ary
event, if Caltex should wish to operate north of this line they „ „
should inform the State Department with a view to discussion with H.Mw.
(c) The Americans mi^it wish to know within what sphere P.C.L. would be
free to operate under their Qatar concession and we would not wish to
disclose the boundary line appearing on the map attached tc their
concession. Moreover, one of Ibn Saud*s claims intrudes on the P.C.L.
concession area so defined. Would it, however, be fe&sxo-^
the P.C.L. concession line, or some other similar line across the
Qatar Peninsula, to the Americans as an informal frontier beyond which
we would arrange with P.C.L. that they also would not operate without
consulting who would then consult with the State Department r
(d) It may be that an arrangement on these lines could ne w oe put into
' ; effort by the State Department via-a-vis Caltex or that the arrangement
would ootoe to the ears of, Ibn Saud. On the former point, however, it
might be worth at least S^cussing the possibility with the State
Department; and on the .-tter point we should have been oon^s tent ith
the attitude we took in our last discussions with Ibn and, any
case, would we be any worse off "than without any atwenrpt at an
arrangement with the State Department on these lines? Further, withou
some such arrangement, there is the risk tnat a discovery cy one o
companies may precipitate all these difficulties in a more acute form.
About this item
The file comprises correspondence, memoranda, maps, and other papers relating to questions over the position of Saudi Arabia’s south-eastern frontier adjoining Qatar and the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. shaikhdoms, notably Abu Dhabi. Negotiations over the frontier had long been deferred by British Government officials, as a result of the Ruler of Saudi Arabia ‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd’s [Ibn Saud] firm stance in negotiations before the Second World War. However, the need for a resolution became increasingly apparent as a result of ongoing oil exploration in Saudi Arabia by the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco), and exploration in Qatar and Abu Dhabi by Petroleum Concessions Limited (PCL). The principal correspondents in the file include: representatives of 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. , Foreign Office, Ministry of Fuel and Power; the British Legation at Jedda; 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; and 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. .
The file includes:
- correspondence, dating from 1944 and 1945, between British Government officials 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. , 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. and Foreign Office, discussing the previous difficulties encountered in negotiating Saudi Arabia’s south-eastern frontiers with Ibn Saud, and the agreement that further negotiations be left until after the event of Ibn Saud’s death (ff 2-29);
- correspondence from late 1945 through 1947, between Government officials on the possible establishment of a neutral zone between Aramco’s concession area in Saudi Arabia, and PCL’s concession area in Qatar. Also, there is some discussion of Aramco’s proposals to begin seabed exploration off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia (ff 36-59);
- PCL’s request for permission to conduct seismic surveys at the southernmost limit of their concession area in Qatar (ff 76-95);
- reports of Aramco survey parties making incursions into PCL’s concession areas in Qatar and Abu Dhabi (ff 104-127);
- Government criticism of PCL’s delay in exploiting its concession areas in Qatar and Abu Dhabi (f 133);
- preparations in August 1949 for the reopening of frontier negotiations with the Saudi Government in Jedda. Papers include: a copy of a confidential memorandum with map, dated 2 February 1948, on the south-eastern frontier of Saudi Arabia, prepared by J E Cable of the Eastern Department of the Foreign Office (ff 164-169; copy also at ff 87-91); three further confidential memoranda with maps, prepared by the Eastern Department in 1940, outlining past and present negotiations on the position of the south-eastern frontiers of Saudi Arabia (ff 170-180, ff 181-185, ff 186-188); proposals to send representatives from Qatar and Abu Dhabi to the Jedda negotiations (ff 190-203).
- Extent and format
- 1 file (212 folios)
The file’s contents are arranged in approximate chronological order, from the earliest item at the front to the latest at the end. The file notes at the end of the file (ff 204-212) mirror the chronological arrangement.
- 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. This file has the following foliation anomaly: 111A. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel between ff 4-203; these numbers are also written in pencil, and can be found in the same position as the main sequence, but they are not circled. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.
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