BP North American Finance Corporation Bond Certificate
Item condition: Used
BP North American Finance Corporation
In May 1901, William Knox D’Arcy was granted a concession by the Shah of Iran to search for oil which he found in May 1908. This was the first commercially significant find in the Middle East. On April 14, 1909, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was incorporated to exploit this find. The company grew slowly until World War I when its strategic importance led the British Government to acquire controlling interest in the company and it became the Royal Navy’s chief source of fuel oil during World War I.
In 1917, the war allowed it to take the British arm of the German Europäische Union, which used the trade name British Petroleum. After the war ended, the company, in which the British Government now had a 51% interest, moved to secure outlets in Europe and elsewhere. However, its main concern was still Persia, following the Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919 the company continued to trade profitably in that country.
In 1931, partly in response to the difficult economic conditions of the times, BP merged their marketing operations in the United Kingdom with those of Shell-Mex Ltd to create Shell-Mex and BP Ltd a company that continued to trade until the Shell and BP brands separated again in 1975.
There was growing dissent within Persia however at the imperialist and unfair position that APOC occupied. In 1932, the Shah terminated the APOC concession. The concession was resettled within a year, covering a reduced area with an increase in the Persian government’s share of profits. Persia was renamed Iran in 1936 and APOC became AIOC, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.
Following the turmoil of World War II, AIOC and the Iranian government resisted nationalist pressure to come to a renewed deal in 1949. In March 1951, the pro-western Prime Minister Ali Razmara was assassinated and in April, a bill was passed nationalizing the oil industry and the AIOC and the Shah were forced to leave the country.
The AIOC took its case against the nationalization to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, but lost the case. However the government of Britain, concerned about its interests in Iran, convinced the US that Iran was slowly coming under Soviet influence. This was the perfect strategy for the British since the US was in the middle of the Cold War. The British convinced the US to join them in overthrowing the democratically chosen Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadeq, and to install pro-Western General Fazlollah Zahedi as prime minister of Iran. This overthrow was named Operation Ajax. Mohammed Mossadegh thought that nationalization was the only way to prevent British exploitation of Iran’s oil wealth.
On August 19, 1953, the incumbent democratic Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadeq, was forced from office and replaced by Zahedi and the Shah was recalled. The AIOC became The British Petroleum Company in 1954, and briefly resumed operations in Iran with a forty per cent share in a new international consortium. BP continued to operate in Iran until the Islamic Revolution. However, due to a large investment programme (funded by the World Bank) outside Iran, the company survived the loss of its Iranian interests at that time.
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|February 20, 2019 12:00 am||Auction started|