Kuwait Oil Company Limited

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Kuwait Oil Company Limited (KOC) was incorporated in the United Kingdom in February 1934, 50 per cent owned by BP (then called Anglo-Persian Oil Company Limited) and 50 per cent by Gulf Oil Corporation of Pennsylvania (taken over by Standard Oil Company of California in 1984 which subsequently renamed itself Chevron).

In December 1934 the Company acquired a concession in Kuwait. The first discovery of oil in Kuwait in commercial quantities was by the KOC in 1938 and production commenced after the Second World War. The first export of crude oil took place in 1946. The Company always remained a purely production and refining company with the products being sold through the parent companies. The parent companies owned the concession and the Company operated it for them.

The Company's registered head office was in London. Its offices in Kuwait were at Magwa until 1949 when a complete township, including administrative headquarters, workshops, residential quarters and amenities, was built at Ahmadi. Also in 1949 a refinery was commissioned. By 1971 the Company was producing nearly 3 million barrels of oil a day.

The Company was notable for employing Lieutenant Colonel H. R. P. Dickson as its Chief Local Representative from 1936 until his death in 1959. He wrote several books on Kuwait. His wife, Dame Violet Dickson, was also an author on Kuwait.

Kuwait acquired a 60 per cent interest in KOC's assets from 1 January 1974, by an Agreement signed on 29 January 1974 by the Kuwait Government (which backdated 25 per cent participation for the whole of 1973). On 1 December 1975 terms were agreed for the acquisition of the final 40 per cent by Kuwait - the Takeover Agreement, the effective date being backdated to 5 March 1975.

Reference: Kuwait Oil Company Archive

From the guide to the Kuwait Oil Company Archive, 1934-1976, (BP Archive)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn BP Archive, 1753, 1840-2001 BP Archive
creatorOf Kuwait Oil Company Archive, 1934-1976 BP Archive
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith BP p. l. c. person
associatedWith Dickson Harold Richard Patrick 1881-1959 person
associatedWith Kuwait Oil Company Limited 1934-1975 corporateBody
associatedWith Morath Adolf photographer person
associatedWith Wilson Raymond photographer person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Magwa (Kuwait)
Ahmadi (Kuwait)
Petroleum industry and trade Public relations

Corporate Body

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