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Coll 6/67(6) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar: Trucial Coast Oil Concessions' [‎62r] (130/402)

The record is made up of 1 file (195 folios). It was created in 30 Jun 1940-30 Mar 1948. 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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“ y
R)REIGN OFFICE, 3.W.I
22nd March, 1947•
(S.152I/16C/25).
RKCiRICrBD ,
In recent months the question of the frontier between
Saudi Arabia and Qatar has come up here in connexion with
the activities of Petr ole he Concessions Limited in Qatar and
the Arabian American Oil Company in Saudi Arabia, and you should
know what has been happening*
2 9 At one of a aeries of meetings in London in November
1946 between united States State Department Repreaentativea and
the Ministry of Fuel and Power on oil matters generally, at
which the Foreign Office was also represented, the Gaudl- atar
Boundary question was raised by the Americans who felt that it
was desirable, if possible, to avoid difficult political
issues being raised as a result of the activities of the oil
companies in the "no man’s land” at the base of the Qatar
Peninsula* The Ministry of Fuel and Power suggested that the
British and American Departments concerned should find out from
their respective oil companies what their development plans in
the disputed area were likely to be and this was agreed upon.
Subsequently, and rather over our heads - although the idea had
been mooted, we had not agreed to it nor had 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 Ministry of Fuel and Power took up with their United States
opposite numbers, before their return to the United States, a
suggestion of their own that the American and British Departmenti
should make a private agreement with their respective oil
companies not to operate in the disputed area at the neck of the
Qatar on insula, except with the approval of the two Governments*
3* 'The grave objection to all this from the Foreign
Office view point is, of course, that if Ibn Saud hears that
we at an official level, have been discussing with the
jne’-ienns what he regards as his territory he will be very
nnnayed n 3 1c v^o 1” 1938 when a so--ewhat elnilar ■“Uunderetandii
aro^e sith him over Qatar (Kastern (^raliia) prints ^.2^0^/2203/^11
of the 3cth June, 1940, paragraph 58). 1
U. .'e have warned tho Ministry of fuel and power and the
ambaeay m -’ashlngton of the danger* involved ^t. of aQB rae, ^thaj
Aamaam rnav have been done. 9* learn that the otate Department; i
did^aas the suggestion on to Aramco who however quite naturally
took “te line 6 that they felt entitled to proceed with any
exploration or development they might wish in territories which
!8 J 33?S*r<w »• ^|‘* r .‘r; JS ” “‘ibfSS „«=»
of' that Aramco may now go and s^y
vrill net the cat among the pigeons.
_ «»o 4 e. 4 thp no*} it ion up to date • We should be glad
to U»fhafnc 1 ! ^ e L a LV n anrt^rto'
I6n”Lud. «jalght, Jor ««ple, ^g^t^kS grud^lngly^lven in
Baud,a reaf inn a ^ion or t E wo^eiirn office print above
1937 - eae paragraphs 50 and 51 ^ ^ 0 ^ eTer ffiucti we may wish to
referred to. Our difficult! 1 * t - A the definite risk
avoid futile wrangling on this issue, oie.e
/that
X,. B. arafftey-anith, Eeq., C.M.G., O.B.i.,
Jedda*

About this item

Content

This volume concerns British policy regarding the south-eastern boundaries of Saudi Arabia, specifically its border with Qatar.

The correspondence and memoranda near the beginning of the volume discuss from a British perspective the origins and recent history of the boundary dispute, which is described as having been in abeyance since 1938; much of the later correspondence is concerned with whether the British should make renewed attempts to reach an agreement with Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] .

References are made to various existing and proposed boundary lines, the most recent of the latter is the 'Riyadh line' (the name given to the boundary proposed by the British to the Saudi Government in November 1935, referred to elsewhere as the 'final offer').

Notable correspondents include the following: 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. (Charles Geoffrey Prior, succeeded by William Rupert Hay); 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 (Reginald George Alban, Edward Birkbeck Wakefield, and Cornelius James Pelly); His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Stanley R Jordan, succeeded by Laurence Barton Grafftey-Smith); 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 Government of India's External Affairs Department, and the Ministry of Fuel and Power (Petroleum Division); representatives of the United States' State Department, Petroleum Development (Qatar) Limited, Petroleum Concessions Limited, and the Iraq Petroleum Company respectively.

Related matters of discussion include:

  • Ibn Saud's claims regarding the south-eastern frontiers of Saudi Arabia, particularly those relating to Jebel Nakhsh [Khashm an Nakhsh, Qatar] and Khor-el-Odeid [Khawr al ‘Udayd, Qatar].
  • Reports in 1941 of a rumour that the Shaikh of Qatar [Shaikh ‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī] and Ibn Saud have reached an agreement regarding the Saudi-Qatar boundary.
  • The likelihood of oil prospecting either near or within the disputed territory, and its implications for the territorial dispute.
  • British concerns in 1947 regarding the possibility of the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) initiating drilling operations in the seabed near to the disputed territory.
  • The precise location of proposed drillings by Petroleum Concessions Limited in the Qatar Peninsula.
  • A reported complaint in 1947 from the Shaikh of Abu Dhabi [Shaikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan] that Petroleum Development (Qatar) Limited has laid buoys in his territorial waters.
  • Whether the British should permit or impede a proposed survey in Qatar by Petroleum Concessions Limited, which is thought likely to provoke protests from Ibn Saud.

Also included are three maps depicting the eastern and south eastern parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

The volume includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the volume by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence (folio 2).

Extent and format
1 file (195 folios)
Arrangement

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 195; 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. The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers.

Pagination: the volume also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Coll 6/67(6) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar: Trucial Coast Oil Concessions' [‎62r] (130/402), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2139, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100049276751.0x000083> [accessed 23 October 2019]

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