'11/5 Negotiations with Ibn Saud regarding Boundaries of Saudi Arabia' [65r] (129/430)
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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Petroleum Concessions Limited,
29th April, 1947.
The Under-Secretary of State,
I have the honour to refer to a conversation
which took place at the Foreign Office on the afternoon-of
28th April, between tlr. Neville Butler and Lr. Garron on
the one side and the undersigned representative of this
Company on the other.
You are aware that this Company and/or its
subsidiaries hold oil Concessions from the Shaikh of Qatar,
the various Rulers on the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. , and the Sultan
of Muscat and Oman, which Concessions were acquired at
various dates from 1934 to 1945, mainly between 1936 and 1939.
It is the common feature of all these Concessions that the
territories covered adjoin, on their inland side, the
dominions of H. H. King Ibn Sa'ud : and it is understood
that the latter’s frontiers, which thus automatically
become the boundaries of the Company’s Concession, have
never been delimited.
In the case of Qatar, the Company's Concession
indicates, by a line on an attached map across the Qatar
Peninsula from Last to West towards its base, the boundary
of the area covered. It is however, believed that considerable
territory south of that boundary belongs properly to the
Shaikh : and in the event of a delimitation between the
domaij(|hs of the Shaikh and of King Ibn Sa'ud, this Company
would wish to extend its Concessional area, by arrangement
with the Shaikh, so as to cover whatever land might be
excluded from Sa'udi Arabia and included in Qatar by the
On the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. there has been some hinterland
demarkation and it would, therefore, be a matter of great
interest to the Company to know What approximate or
provisional frontier may at the present time be considered as
valid vis a vis Sa'udi Arabia : what are the probabilities
of a definitive boundary-drawing in the near or fairly near
future : and whether in the event of such final boundary
drawing including in Sa'udi Arabia areas hitherto and at
present considered to belong to the Company's concessionary
territories, it could be arranged that King Ibn Sa'ud should
agree to respect the Company's "acquired rights" therein ?
The frontier as between the hinterland, the
Sultanate of Oman, including its Dhofar Province, and Sa'udi
Arabia has similarly never been delimited and is equally a
matter of interest to this Company.
Hr. Butler asked the undersigned in conversation
what would be the Company's order of priority in such
boundary delimitation, if it should prove possible to carry
it out partially but not wholly. Such order would be,
firstly, the boundary at the base of ^atar Peninsula; secondly,
the boundary from (the neighbourhood of) the base of ^atar
around the outskirts of the Ruba'al Khali passing south of the
Crucial Coast and the Oman mountains; and thirdly, the boundary
between the Oman Sultanate and Sa'udi Arabia to the South and
bouth Last of Ruba'al Khali.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
for PETROLEUM CONCESSIONS LIMITED.
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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