Exploration - Production | - United Arab Emirates

Trucial Coast - IPC groups relations in the 30's

In the 1930s, the Iraq Petroleum Company IPC undertook contacts with the various tribes of the 'Trucial Coast', which stretches north, from the Emirate of Ras El Khaima at the border from Oman to the Qatar border at the south along a coastline of several hundred kilometers.

Following a request by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for assistance from the company to explore its potential for water and oil resources in the country's subsoil, the IPC sent a letter dated March 7, 1935 to the partners of the group informing them that the area in question (Trucial Coast) depends exclusively on the British Government and India and that it is not possible to set foot on these territories without the approval of these two Governments. The letter recalls that the coast has always been protected by their gunboats against the trafficking of arms and slaves. Consequently, the only authorizations to go there would be reserved only to British nationals.

CFP (Compagnie Française des Pétroles) management reacted strongly to this letter by a letter dated and signed on March 15th, 1935 by Jules Mény, the company's managing director, denying allegations of British dominance over the region, noting that the CFP was neither in trafficking in arms or slaves, and that they retain all rights to visit or remain in these territories.

A very interesting example of the internal economic and political war between the partners of the IPC on a background of recall of the policy of the gunboat exercised at the time and which remained some decades after the Thirties.

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