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Coll 6/48 'Oil: Concessions in Saudi Arabia. (Hasa)' [‎290r] (579/1153)

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The record is made up of 1 file (574 folios). It was created in 8 Dec 1923-11 Jul 1945. 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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IV,
mi AKA)a<q< o, m-; p guj.
(*) : M-pHqy lo__tha MJ .
w« have treaty agrttmenta with the Sheikhs on the Arabian
sliore not to grant oil oonoessiona without our peradaslon* 3 !he
dniralty re^arrl the devel opwent of this sree by 'British ooe^anies
essential for atmtegic reasons. The Itoreign Office, however, press for
an open door policy.
.-.diairalty policy is to use evexy opportunity to influtonoe
the advice to be given by H*M« Oovensaent to the Sheikhs in favour of
a genuine British Canpany; and if a oonoeaslon has to be given to a
ocsapany not oonlined to 3ritJUdj interests, to secure the Insertion of
certain safeguards for British interests (already agreed to in principle
by K44. Cfovenjiaent), including the right of pre-emption in war, refining
a certain proportion in ocntrolled territoxy, the use of plant
which can produce fuel oil suitable for AAairalty requircciants, and the
enr&cyfnent of & proportion of British subjects.
A further difficulty in this area is that under the Red Line
Agreement of 1928?* Arabia outside Roweit falls within the sphere of the
X.P.Q*, the actual British shareholding in which is now only about 35;£ ,
and although the Company is still technically British and the Chairman &
British subject, it is a little difficult to regard it as British in fact,
(k) It seems probable that the oU-bearing structure on the
eastern side of the Gulf eortends to the western shores, ruruaing under the
(half itself. Colour is lent to this theoay by the fact that the
Bahrein Betroleum Company recently struck oil in premising quantity at
Bahrein and by the result of exploratory bores at eweit.
(o) Bahrein.
She Kastem and General lyndioato, (a oonoesmicn puroinasing
ooncem;, originally obtained a oonoessiovi to exploit the oil resources
of Bahrein from the Iteikh of Bahrein, but sold their concession (subject
w This was a private agremaant between groups oaapriaing the X. - .G^^under
\3iiX<xi a line was drmm round Arabia, Palestine and Asia linor, which
excluded the ulj^ ; ate of 3 oweit and the Farsan Islands, but included
Bahrein and an area was thus defined within which the various groups
constituting the I.P.O. agreed that they would not seek for or obtain oil
oenoessiens other than threjugh the Iraq Fetroleun Ocs^rny or its Koninee.

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Content

This file relates to oil concessions in Saudi Arabia, particularly the Hasa [Al Hasa] concession between the Government of Saudi Arabia and the Standard Oil Company of California (SoCal). It includes discussion of the following:

  • Oil negotiations in Saudi Arabia during March and April 1933, and the reported involvement of Major Frank Holmes in negotiations relating to the Kuwait (also spelled Koweit in the file) [Saudi-Kuwaiti] neutral zone.
  • Details of an agreement for the oil concession relating to the Hasa region of Saudi Arabia, made between the Government of Saudi Arabia and SoCal (signed on 27 May 1933), and assigned by SoCal to its subsidiary, the California Arabian Standard Oil Company (Casoc).
  • British concerns regarding a request made by Casoc via the United States Embassy for its aeroplane to be permitted to fly over Kuwait and Bahrain, as part of a survey of the region relating to its oil concession.
  • Reports that Casoc may be interested in exhanging the southern half of its Hasa concession for land further west, and the effect that this might have on Britain's negotiations with Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd].
  • Reports of the discovery of oil in Hasa in 1935, and the discovery of commercial quantities of oil there in March 1938.
  • Reports that Casoc is considering the possibility of laying a pipeline from Hasa to Bahrain.
  • Casoc's oil rights in the Kuwait neutral zone.
  • The progress of operations carried out in Hasa by Casoc, including the status of its wells at Dhahran.
  • An account of a visit made by 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 (Hugh Weightman) to Casoc's site at Dhahran as well as to other areas in the region, in May 1939.
  • Details of a loan from Casoc to the Government of Saudi Arabia.
  • Reports of Casoc having taken the decision to construct a refinery at Ras Tanura.

The file features the following principal correspondents: 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 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. , Bahrain; 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. , Kuwait; the Secretary of State for the Colonies; His Majesty's Chargé d’Affaires, Jedda; the His Majesty's Minister at Jedda; officials of the Foreign Office, 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. , the War Office, the Air Ministry, and the Petroleum Department; representatives of Casoc.

In addition to correspondence the file includes the following:

The date range of the volume is 1923-1945 but only a handful of items date from before 1933. These include copies of 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. 's correspondence with the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Foreign Secretary to the Government of India respectively, which date from 1923 to 1926 and concern the possibility of oil development both in Qatar and 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. .

The file includes three dividers which give a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. These are placed at the back of the correspondence (folios 2-4).

Extent and format
1 file (574 folios)
Arrangement

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 575; 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. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 6/48 'Oil: Concessions in Saudi Arabia. (Hasa)' [‎290r] (579/1153), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2115, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100040749882.0x0000b6> [accessed 19 November 2019]

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