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Coll 30/87(2) Part II 'Qatar: Oil Concession - P.C.L.'s Operations.' [‎35r] (70/603)

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The record is made up of 1 file (296 folios). It was created in 6 Jan 1945-13 Apr 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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CONFIDENTIAL
rnpmm
s&r
EXPRESS
L E T T E R V
From
To
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. , 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. , Bahrain.
H.M’s Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relatioj
<» a Lon <
No.299-S Hr^ H
ated BAHRAIN, the 2nd February, 1948.
Reference paragraph 3 of my Express Letter No.l46-S dated
fcxi sucAivS the 16t h J^nuaryje gar ding the division of the sea bed between
Bahrain and Qatar. The following are my comments on the Shaikh of
Bahrain’s letters
Reference paragraph 3 in which it is contended that during
the discussions regarding an oil concession for the n additional area”
in 1938-39 the political authorities tacitly accepted the red line
. shown on the map vide enclosures forwarded under Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. Express
Letter No.C-331 dated 7th Ma y 1938, as the Bahrain boundary, this
point is dealt with in paragraphs 26, 28(e) and 29(e) of Galloway’s
f.Expres s Letter Nq .CZ 14 50 dated the, 31st December 1_946 which formed
an enclosure to my letterNo7X26^B~mt^cr^HF~1.8th January 194? and
has been accepted there and in paragraph 7 of my letter as one of
the arguments for allotting Dibal and Jaradeh to Bahrain. At the
time of the negotiations for the “additional area” P.C.L. were inform*
”As your Company understands, there is a possibility that
the Shaikh of Qatar might wish to advance claims to certain of the
islands, reefs or shaals, and if he should do so such claims would
have to be considered by His Majesty's Government with a view to
reaching a decision.
It should also be clearly understood that any decision
subsequently taken with regard to the sovereignty or ownership of any
of the islands, reefs or shoals included in the proposed concession
areas will only hold good to the'extent that His Majesty's Government
are in a position to take and enforce a decision, i.e. as between
one protected State and another, and cannot be held to preclude His
Majesty’s Government from admitting the sovereignty of any foreign
power which may hereafter put forward a claim to the islands, reefs,
or shoals if His Majesty's Government in their sole discretion think
it expedient to admit that claim.”
A proposal was made that a warning on similar lines should
be given to the Bahrain Government vide paragraph 3 of 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.
telegram No.869 dated 4th May, 1938. . Fowle objected to any suggest
ion being made that the claims of a foreign power might be admitted
and proposed that a communication should be made to the Shaikh of
Bahrain that claims by foreign powers or other Shaikhs to parts of
the concessional areas must be considered and decided by His Majesty^
Government on their merits and asked for His Majesty’s Government’s
instructions as soon as possible vide paragraph 8 of his Express
-Lette r No.C.331 dated 7th May, 1938. Unfortunately so far as my
records show no Instructions were received from His Majesty’s Govern
ment and no cogimunication was made to the Shaikh. His Majesty’s
p.°S'
Government's attitude however at the time was clea;r and logical and
as no agreement was ever reached between the Bahrain Government and
P.C.L. covering the area in the map already referred to and subsequent
ly confirmed by a Political Agreement between the Company and His
Majesty’s Government. I think we are justified in holding that the
mere fact that negotiations were allowed to take place covering the
area claimed by the Shaikh of Bahrain did not finally commit His
Majesty's Government to a recognition of that claim. The limits of
the ’’additional area” are nowhere defined in the concession subse
quently granted for it to the Bahrain Petroleum Company
2. With reference to paragraph 4 of the Shaikh’s letter in
which it is claimed that Dibal and Jaradeh are the terminus of one
long continuous shoal and that the whole of the shoal should there
fore be allotted to Bahrain the fact is that Dibal and Jaradeh are
intermediate points situated on a salient from a shoal that stretches

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Content

The file concerns the operations of Petroleum Concessions Limited (PCL) (and its subsidiary Petroleum Development (Qatar) Limited) in Qatar. Of particular importance in the file is the issue of the division of the sea bed for drilling operations between PCL's concession, and that of the Bahrain Petroleum Company Limited (BAPCO) in Bahrain.

The file contains discussion of the issue by 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 Foreign Office, the Ministry of Fuel and Power, 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. , Bahrain.

The papers cover: the resumption of drilling operations in Qatar after their suspension during the Second World War; payment of royalties; the Hawar Islands; the granting of permission to use wireless sets; the response of British officials to a United States Government request to PCL for information on petroleum resources in 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. , October-November 1946; aerial surveys of the Bahrain-Qatar Unallotted Area; the application of US President Harry S Truman's continental shelf doctrine to the issue (e.g. folios 141, 110); maps of the area; Admiralty comments on the need for all parties to be aware that the sea bed only was concerned, and that the waters above, and free navigation, were in no way affected (folio 46); correspondence from the oil companies involved; and the reactions of local rulers to the negotiations.

The file also contains five maps.

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
1 file (296 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 (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 296; 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. Foliation anomaly: 268a.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 30/87(2) Part II 'Qatar: Oil Concession - P.C.L.'s Operations.' [‎35r] (70/603), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3806B, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100056534849.0x000048> [accessed 20 October 2019]

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