The Road to Achnacarry

  • Geoffrey Jones
Part of the Studies in Business History book series (STBH)


The twenty years before the end of the First World War had witnessed a remarkable transformation in the position of the British oil industry. Although the War had demonstrated that the United Kingdom was still dependent for its oil on foreign countries, British enterprises were established on many of the oilfields of the world. Lord Cowdray controlled the largest share of Mexican oil production. Burmah Oil was entrenched in the Indian Empire. A.P.O.C. possessed vast oil reserves in Persia, and the company’s wartime expansion had set it on the path to full vertical integration. In 1919 A.P.O.C. acquired its first Continental distribution company, the Belgium firm L’Alliance. Moreover, the victory of the Allies seemed certain to place British oil companies in a favourable position in other regions. The end of the War left both Mesopotamia and the Baku oilfields occupied by the British Army, and for a time it looked as if British interests would also inherit the German stake in the Rumanian oil industry.


British Control British Interest Shell Group Cabinet Committee British Enterprise 
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© Geoffrey Jones 1981

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  • Geoffrey Jones

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