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'File 14/15 Middle East Oil' [‎9r] (17/38)

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The record is made up of 1 file (17 folios). It was created in 28 Mar 1946-2 Jan 1947. 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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- 9 -
tyoos of po'broleu: products, including 10 J-ocuane aviation . petrol.
61, Encouraged by their discovery of oil a.'G Bahrein the Califomian"Araoj. u. C >,
acquired-a much more important concession in Saudi Arabia, a^.area of some 250,GoO square
miles (see nap) covering the whole of the eastern area ol ohe Arabian Peninsula, excepc
the coastal districts eastwards' and southwards from tl:ie Qatar Peninsula, vruic...
already covered by concessions granted at various times to affiliates of the I.P^C.
62, Oil was first discovered in Saudi Arabia in commercial quamiuies in 1^17^
the area buing the Dhahran (or Daman Dome) field on the mainland, some yf ^1° G inL-.n^
and abqu-r $ 0 miles north of-Bahrein. In the Gait ex Group formed the Araoian
American Company to control production in the,area. Production irom tiie Dnahran field
aaounted to on .y 67,000- tons in 1930, but by 19'A had risen to 600,000 tons. In the
meantime, two fi’.rther discoveries had been .fide, orie at Abquaia and the other ao Abu
Hadiya, bringing up combined production in 1 9V: to 1 , 330,000 bons. , r , , •*
63 , At present the v/hole of the Dhahran crude, oil is refined in the Bahrein
refinery. However, a new 1 , . : .rn refinery is nearing:completion at Ras Tanura, on mie
coast ftoposite Bahrein, 'vdth a capacity of 2,50O,CA)0 tins per annum ana -aole of
proving all types o products including 100 -octane aviation petrol. Wnu ,ue^completion
of this refinery it is expected that production > rom Saudi Araoia ^"-<-11 D< ^ .t»,o^e ^
d -,.b^d in'the very near future. Potential production is said to be at least 6 million
tons „,er year. ’
6 Z+., There are surface indications of the existence of petroleum at ^any oonnr^
places in the California-Arabian Oil Company Us enormous concession area and tim region
holds rich promise of future discoveries. . ^ ,, , . ^ Tv , nri
65 . In the Qatar Peninsula oil has been the Dukhan area bj- ohe Ir^cx
Petroleum Company, but production was suspended ovdng to the war. It is expected ho..-ever,
that work mv shortly be resumed in this area. . .
66 . In Kuwait # oil has been discovered in the Burgan Hi-Is region. Oil prospec oin 0
and ex I.oration rights covering the wliole of Kuwait, (with the exception of the^deu.rhl
Zone"), arc: held by the Kuwait Oil Company, Ltd., which is jointly owned by .nc ^..U
E. ploration Company (British) and the Anglo-I rant an Oil Company^ (British). The 'ronceoSi n
was granted in 1934 and the first well v/as drilled in 1936 but it was no. un oi- 19ft
that results justified full scale development. At the beginning pt che^war anll^ng
occrations were discontinued and in 1942 the existing wells were plugged.^ The oil
reserves are known to be very large and a project for developing a producuion
2.5000,000 tons per annum’by drilling 15 new wells in addition 60 «ue w 1 ®
■which have been muddied off has been approved. There are also plans for the construe-
ti0n % & Kuwait lies an area of some 1,800 square ndles ^Uod the ^eutral
Zone” in which Ibn Baud and the Shekih of Kuwait enjoy equal rights under m;e ire..^
of Uqair or Kuwait Boundory Convention of 1922 , pending ,urtier agreome^ .e^we ^
inc rulers Ibn Spud h?s signed an agreement with tne Arabm n A encan .0-. . 0
Th r Wi Arabian concession to coir his (ibn S^d'a) righto ia the HeutraX .one buv
-f* Sheikh of Kuwait on his side, though he has been approached ..q ao leasi, y. - o±x^
coir^nies with a viey; to a concession, has consistently refused to discuss the quesui..n
of rights. Possibly he hopes, on the deatn'of Ibn Baud, to implement ms claim vo
• the entire area.
Arabian Pipeline.
63. In 1942 the Arabian A orioan Oil Company proposed to the joint chiets of
staff in Washington the oonstrutreion of a pipeline from Bahrein across Saudi Arabia to
the Mediierranean, put ing fonwud strategic reasons as the prmary
proposal hCT-cvor v-as turned down ■ n ti« groUnos of laac of material and om. uneer^air ...
pj-p ‘ *V\ c\ rn*] 1 q v; V’T/ e-X -' XD jl*iG O -
69 Tvu years later the project was revived. By this time i.he irennan.. x..,n
expelled from Africa and Southern Italy. Victory, though in sight, !£ s .
hand. There Was an acute shortage of tankers and the prob-er- o. sunplymg J-.--• .
mill tar', operations on the Continent looked increasingly urgent^ In hie _ meantime ; ,he
vrr h'd'l=d to a ver,'large drain upon American oil reserves. mis was orougho ouv
the read Report (See* Cara's) which stressed the fact that American oil reserves «re
being rapidly and dangerously depleted and urged "a -positive, vigorous, American polic.
to assure 'to this country its share of the world’s petroleum resources .
The i indings of the Committee were o.. particular impor*Gance *cc > .a,,.,
/dependent as

About this item


The file is comprised of a paper produced by the Political Intelligence Centre (Middle East Forces): 'Paper No. 80: Middle East Oil' dated 28 March 1946.

The paper (ff 4-17) includes a précis and then lists the oil-producing countries of the Middle East with their oil concessions and assessment of their known oil reserves and future potential (Persia; Iraq; Egypt; Saudi Arabia; Kuwait; Qatar). Further analysis concerns the importance and potential of Middle East oil placed in a world context. The paper also includes a table 'World Oil Production and Reserves, 1944' listed by region.

A further section list exploratory work being undertaken in non-producing areas (Syria and Lebanon; Palestine; Muscat, Oman and Dhofar; Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. ; Turkey; Transjordan; Cyprus; Yemen; Aden Protectorate). The report also includes a map 'Middle East Oil - Secret' (folio 12) and a distribution list.

Also included in the file is a copy of an article 'Big Oil Boom in Saudi Arabia' from the New York Times and Statesman Special Service , 4 December 1946.

The principal correspondents are: the Head of the Political Intelligence Centre, Middle East Forces, Cairo (Colonel J G Clarke); 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. ; and 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. , Muscat.

Extent and format
1 file (17 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 19; 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 in Latin script
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'File 14/15 Middle East Oil' [‎9r] (17/38), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/6/445, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 12 December 2019]

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