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Coll 30/87(2) Part I 'Qatar: Oil Concession.' [‎300v] (621/1310)

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The record is made up of 4 volumes (639 folios). It was created in 14 Jan 1935-8 Nov 1944. 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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include in the areas selected for the purposes of its operations, any sites which may
have been selected by or on behalf of the Sheikh or His Majesty s Government for
defence purposes, for aerodromes, aeroplane or seaplane bases or for wireless and
telegraph, installations or in connection with the development of harbours, provided
thatTwith the consent of His Majesty’s Government which shall not be unreasonably
withheld the Company shall have the right to use for the purposes of its operations
such harbours as may be developed by the Sheikh or His Majesty’s Government
if there is not reasonable harbour accommodation available elsewhere. Harbours
developed by the Company shall be under its complete and exclusive control.
9 Telegraph, wireless and telephone installations, if any, maintained by the
Company shall be for use only in its business and as provided in the concession, and
shall be so constructed and operated that their operations shall not interfere with the
operations of such wireless, telegraph or telephone installations as may be established
by the Sheikh or His Majesty’s Government.
10. The Company declare that it is their intention, should they consider that
commercial conditions justify it, to erect a refinery at Koweit. If and when the
Company is satisfied that commercial production is assured, the Company agrees to
examine with His Majesty’s Government the question of establishing a refinery in
Koweit of suitable type and capacity.
11. In the event of a state of national emergency or war (of the existence of
either of which His Majesty’s Government shall be the sole judge) His Majesty’s
Government shall have the right of pre-emption of all the oil produced in Koweit in
accordance with the terms of the schedule hereto.
12. In the event of notice of termination of the Agreement between the Company
and the Sheikh being given under the terms of that Agreement on the ground that
the Company has failed to observe any of the terms of this Agreement between the
Company and His Majesty’s Government, the arbitration provisions of the said
Agreement between the Company and the Sheikh shall apply if the Company
considers that notice of termination on such grounds under that Agreement is not
IN WITNESS whereof Sir Louis James Kershaw, K.C.S.I., C.I.E., on behalf of
His Majesty’s Government has hereunto set his hand and seal and the Company has
hereunto caused its Common Seal to be affixed the day and year first above written.
THE SCHEDULE above referred to
Pre-emption Clause.
In the event of a state of national emergency or war (of the existence of which
His Majesty’s Government shall be the sole judge)—
(1) His Majesty’s Government shall have the right of pre-emption of all crude oil
gotten under the Concession granted by the Sheikh to the Company and of
all the products thereof and shall have the right to require the Company to
the extent of any refining capacity it may have in Koweit to produce oil
fuel that shall comply with the Admiralty specifications at the time provided
that Koweit oil be of a suitable kind and quality for this purpose.
(2) The Company shall use its utmost endeavours to increase so far as reasonably
possible with existing facilities the supply of oil and/or products thereof for
the Government to the extent required by the Government.
(3) The Company shall with every reasonable expedition and so as to avoid
demurrage on the vessel or vessels engaged to convey the same, do its
utmost to deliver all oil or products of oil purchased "by the Government
under their said right of pre-emption in the quantities at the time and in
the manner required by the Government at a convenient place of shipment
oi at a place of storage in Koweit to be determined by His Majesty’s
Government. In the event of a vessel employed to carry any such oil or
products thereof on behalf of His Majesty being detained on demurrage at
the port of loading the Company shall pay the amount due for demurrage
according to the terms of the charter party and/or the rates of loading
previously agreed with the Company unless the delay is due to causes
beyond the control of the Company. Any dispute which may arise as to

About this item


The file concerns the signing of the agreement between the British Government, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) (later the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company), and the Shaikh of Qatar, Abdullah bin Qasim al Thani [‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī] to award the company an exclusive oil concession in Qatar (also spelled Qatr and Katr). The file also concerns preliminary oil explorations in Qatar, and the subsequent suspension of operations on the orders of the British Government.

The papers cover: discussion, drafts and text of the commercial agreement between the Shaikh of Qatar and APOC (signed 17 May 1935); discussion, draft and text of the political agreement between HM Government and APOC (signed 5 June 1935); the use by the Shaikh of modern, Egyptian Arabic to make comments on the draft (folios 624-625); British support for the proposal that disputes between foreign employees of the company and inhabitants of Qatar should not be submitted to the Shara [Sharia] courts (folio 604); intelligence on the activities of the Standard Oil Company [California-Arabia Standard Oil Company] (e.g. folio 443); British emphasis that military protection would be afforded to the Shaikh of Qatar on condition that he awarded the oil concession to APOC, and the assumption by Britain of responsibility for the protection of Qatar (e.g. folios 400-403); the transfer of the concession from the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to Petroleum Development (Qatar) Limited (e.g. folios 335-357); the payment of salaries to the Shaikh's representatives (e.g. folios 294-295); water drilling operations by the company (e.g. folios 237-241); references to Qatar's disputed border with Saudi Arabia; reports of preliminary drilling results and first discoveries of oil (1939-41); employment of foreign personnel by Petroleum Concessions Limited in Qatar (folios 180-182); the suspension of drilling operations on the orders of HM Government in 1942 as a result of war conditions, including correspondence on the subject between British officials and the Shaikh of Qatar, 1942-43; note that the suspension had been ordered because the British military authorities were unable to spare sufficient personnel to ensure the destruction of the oil wells, should the military situation demand it (folio 41); correspondence dated 1944 concerning a proposed increase in world oil refining capacity; and further correspondence dated 1944 concerning the boundary between Qatar and Bahrain at Hawar Island.

The main correspondents are senior officials at 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. , representatives of the oil companies concerned, 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 Arabic language content of the file consists of approximately 30 folios of correspondence, largely between British officials and the Ruler of Qatar.

The file includes a divider, which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
4 volumes (639 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: this file consists of four physical volumes. The foliation sequence commences at the inside front cover of volume one (ff 1-161) and terminates at the inside back cover of volume four (ff 486-647); 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.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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Coll 30/87(2) Part I 'Qatar: Oil Concession.' [‎300v] (621/1310), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3806A, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 15 November 2019]

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