U.S. looks to Arabia for richest store of oil (6-16-45)

The Pittsburgh Press (June 17, 1945)

U.S. looks to Arabia for richest store of oil

Pittsburgh company has 50% interest in concern set up to exploit Kuwait fields
By George Weller

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait (June 16) – The name now paired with the word “oil” in the Middle East is Kuwait.

The world’s richest known store of untapped oil lies under the camel grass and sand of this pure Arabian state, five hours south by auto from the docks and cranes of the American-built port of Khorramshahr.

If, as Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes has stated, the “United States cannot oil another war,” Kuwait is of direct concern to American security.

U.S. pipeline proposed

No oil has been exported as yet from Kuwait’s arid sands and such wells as have been driven are experimental. But the mooted American pipeline to the Mediterranean, jointly worked out by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mr. Ickes and his aide, Abe Fortas, as an adjunct to a planned Anglo-American naval base, is designed to tap Kuwait – if opposing oil interests in the U.S. do not succeed in stopping the laying of the pipe.

The oil is due to be exploited by a British-incorporated company – the Kuwait Oil Company, in which the Gulf Exploration Company of Pittsburgh, a subsidiary of the Gulf Oil Corporation, owns a 50 percent interest. Kuwait is also due to be a main intake point on the proposed Ickes pipeline to the Mediterranean. The other 50 percent is held by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a big British organization which controls the huge refinery at Abadan on the Gulf, fed by its oilfield in southern Iran.

British have advantage

Anglo-Iranian has a majority of its shares in the hands of the British government. Thus, the Kuwait oil deposits are at least half controlled by the British. Actually, the control is more extensive, for the sheiks who reign over Kuwait have long collaborated with the British.

The most influential foreign figure in Kuwait is the British political agent, Patrick Tandy, a young major from the Indian service. He is the principal adviser of the present ruler, bearded and genial Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, twice knighted by the British. Next in importance is Col. Harold Dickson, a former British political agent who acts as intermediary for the Kuwait oil firm.

Everette DeGoyler, leading oil geologist of Dallas, Texas, has put the Kuwait field at nine billion barrels as against six to seven billion in Iran, four to five billion in Saudi Arabia and one billion in Qatar, a peninsula just below Bahrein.

1 Like


Looks like Arabia… needs some democracy.

1 Like