British oil policy


Questions on Zahlan’s chapter on ‘the Preliminary Oil Concessions’. (about oil and the uae 1065 to now)

1) Why was British oil policy for the Trucial Coast ‘slow in being developed’?

2) How did other recent regional developments concerning oil affect attitudes amongst Trucial Coast rulers?

3) Why did Fowle approach APOC in 1935?

4) What was an ‘option’, and how did it differ from a ‘concession’?

5) Why was it so problematic that an American geologist should be sent by the Iraq Petroleum Company?

6) Why should SOCAL’s activities in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have seemed to threaten British interests on the Trucial Coast?

7) What lay behind Fowle’s concerns about Holmes’s relationship with Sheikh Shakhbut?

8) Why was Petroleum Concessions Ltd. (PCL) formed?
9) What were the arguments concerning:

a) the boundaries of the sheikhdoms

b) the safety of geological survey teams

10) What was Fowle’s interpretation of the delay in signing concessions by all the Trucial rulers except for Sheikh Sa’id of Dubai, and what

plan did he conceive for ending that delay?

11) Why and how was Ras al-Khaimah rather a special case when the concession was finally agreed?

12) What tactics did Fowle use to break Shakhbut’s resistance to signing?

13) Which factors seem to have operated to change Shakhbut’s mind?

14) Was the outcome of the concessions negotiations a ‘victory’ for Fowle?
Guided Reading 12 on Chapter 31, “OPEC’s Imperium” (about oman- trucial coast early oil history)

1) Why could the period 1974-1978 be considered OPEC’s “Golden Age”?
2) What were the main consequences of the quadrupling of the oil price for the producing, advanced consuming and developing countries?
3) What lay behind the battle over oil between Saudi Arabia and Iran?
4) What did the United States want to see happen with oil prices in this period, and why?
5) Why and how did the Shah’s attitude to oil prices change in this period?

6) What changed in Kuwait, and did this surprise Herbert Goodman and his colleagues?
7) What were the arrangements eventually made between the Venezuelan government and the oil companies?

8) What was the outcome of the negotiations between the Saudi government and Aramco?
9) Generally speaking, what new arrangement replaced the old concession system?
Guided Reading 10 on ‘Old Mossy and the Struggle for Iran’ (about arabnationalization ,oil and opec- from front uni to yomkippur- il war pilictics

in Iraq)
1) Why was there so much hostile feeling in Iran towards the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company?

2) How did the British government and the U.S. government feel about the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company?
3) Why was the U.S. government so concerned about the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s situation?

4) What was Plan Y and why did the U.S. government disapprove of it?

5) What was Britain’s response to the nationalization of Anglo-Iranian and to the failure of the mediating missions?

6) What was ‘Operation Ajax’, and what was the result of it?

7) Who became the oil concessionaire in Iran after the removal of Mossadeq from power, and in what sense were these new arrangements a ‘turning

point’ in the oil business?

8) How disastrous was this episode for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company?

Guided Reading 8 on ‘The Postwar Petroleum Order’ (the cold war and iran)

1) What was the ‘Arabian risk’?

2) Why was there a problem about Socony and Standard Oil of New Jersey becoming part of Aramco?

3) What was the outcome of the attempt to bring Socony and Standard Oil of New Jersey into Aramco, and what was the impact on the Red Line


4) Why did Gulf Oil need Shell in Kuwait?

5) What deal was struck in Iran in 1947, and why?

6) What was Tapline, and why was its construction problematical?
7) Why did Ibn Saud not cancel the Aramco concession as a punishment for American support for Israel?

8) What did President Truman guarantee to the Saudis in 1950, and why?
9) Why did the United States not turn to synthetic fuels or offshore production in order to meet its oil needs at this time?
10) In what way was the post-war petroleum order ‘too successful’?

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History was first posted on January 6, 2018 at 3:00 am.
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